British Racing Launches New Welfare Campaign

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British Racing Launches New Welfare Campaign

A new welfare information portal has been launched by British Racing to tackle public perception around the sport of Horse Racing in the UK.

The campaign website is called HorsePWR, with the intentional PWR standing for Power, Welfare and Responsibility.

There is a newly created digital hub making available key factual information about the sport, detailing the care of the animals involved and delivering lots of data addressing misinformation that can lead to negative attention on the horse racing industry. 

This central resource has the aim of arming readers and interested parties, whether fans of the sport or not, with real welfare information and transparency that has been lacking for some time. It is seemingly being universally welcomed among horse racing personalities since being published earlier this week. 

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As the site outlines, thoroughbred racehorses are the ultimate equine athletes and their welfare is crucial. The site has been launched ahead of the 2024 Grand National in the hope that doors are opened with regard to this popular sport at a time when it is often threatened by various animal rights groups in the run up to one of the most famous races in the World.

For a long time, horse racing hasn’t been at the front of transparency and the provision of information. It can only be a beneficial step when it comes to encouraging new fans to attend horse racing meetings and to be safe in the knowledge that the care of the horses is absolutely paramount. 

From outlining the purpose of race horses and how they lead their lives on a daily basis alongside the high standards of welfare and safety to which British racing adheres, the information provided goes a long way to dispelling myths and concerns that are often given plenty of press without rebuttal. 

It’s great to see that British horse racing is getting on the front foot with this campaign, with a wide range of facts provided in order to inform racing fans and animal lovers, with this information providing some welcome reassurance for many. 

As explained the name HorsePWR doesn’t just stand for horsepower but the three final letters also represent Purpose, Welfare and Responsibility. It’s a collaboration that has been created by the British Horseracing Authority, Great British Racing and racing’s Horse Welfare Board. 

As you can see from the information hub, there are lots of sections where you can gather up stats and facts pertaining to the equine athletes. 

This includes a facts section where you might be interested to know that the annual thoroughbred population is around 75,000. 

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Furthermore, there are estimated to be around one million race horses in Great Britain right now, meaning that those lining up at the Cheltenham Festival or the Grand National meeting are just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s clear that a good deal of research has gone into this project in order to reveal as much information as possible when it comes to the current state of British racing. 

There are around 540 licensed trainers in Great Britain right now and all of these handlers have to adhere to the highest standards of welfare and safety. 

The same applies to the estimated 8,000 staff that form part of their respective workforces. 

A welcome move from British Racing

This is long overdue from the upper tier of British Racing. For so long Horse Racing in the UK has been without necessary transparency, easily accessible information and published rebuttal to the groups that seek to cast doubt over animal welfare. 

It's upfront, clear and concise. Exactly what Racing needs to stay visibly on the front front, displaying how existing high standards of care and love for the breed are clearly already at it's core. - Dean Ryan -

New British Racing website HorsePWR
British Racing launch HorsePWR

You might be interested to know that there are around 14,000 horses in training at any particular time and that there were over 18,500 horses that raced at some stage during 2023, whether that be in a Flat or National Hunt race. 

Some of the more difficult questions are also met head on, with a section devoted to injuries and fatal injuries. It’s clear that the sport wants to be transparent when it comes to the death of racehorses which is an unfortunate aspect of the game. 

There were over 10,000 races in 2023 and they were split between 64% of them as Flat races and 36% being National Hunt which saw the horses go over obstacles. 

From 18,630 horses that lined up at some stage last year, there were 158 fatal injuries. While some will regard this number as still too high, that represents a mere 0.18% fatal injury rate, with a higher average for National Hunt than Flat as you might expect.

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Matthew Glazier

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