The Queensland Off-The-Track Acknowledged Retrainers Program has officially been launched.
As a key initiative arising from the Martin Inquiry, the Queensland Off-The-Track Program has developed an initiative to provide a high-quality first transition for thoroughbred and standardbred horses - bred for the racing industry and domiciled in Queensland at the time of their retirement from racing or breeding activities.
The Acknowledged Retrainers Program is funded via the one per cent prize money levy that supports QOTT.
In total, 13 retrainers from across the state will participate in the $700,000 program with an aim to maximise aftercare outcomes for thoroughbred and standardbred horses, including:
- Supporting the placement of retired racehorses into second careers;
- Supporting the visibility of retired racehorses in their post-racing careers;
- Stimulating demand for retired racehorses;
- Supporting the longevity of retired racehorses in their new homes;
- Creating awareness of retired racehorses and their lives after racing; and
- Promoting the aftercare initiatives offered by the QOTT Program.
Racing Minister Grace Grace said the establishment of an Acknowledged Retrainers Program was an important milestone for the aftercare of Queensland’s thoroughbred and standardbred horses.
“There are some exceptional horsemen and women in Queensland who do an incredible job of retraining and rehoming retired racehorses,” Minister Grace said.
“The establishment of an Acknowledged Retrainers Program will ensure they are provided with a range of tools, including marketing, business and financial support, to assist them in their efforts.
“While the post-racing careers for many horses is known well before they enjoy their last start on the racetrack, there are also instances where this pathway is not as immediately obvious, and the Acknowledged Retrainers Program will ensure these horses will be best placed into future homes.”
The Acknowledged Retrainers Program follows the successful launch of the Subsidised Lessons Program last year, which enables new owners of retired thoroughbred and standardbred horses to receive instruction and tailored support across a range of areas including feeding and nutrition, horse care and husbandry, groundwork, behaviour and ridden components.
To date, 286 retired racehorses are participating in the Subsidised Lessons Program, which provides up to 10 individual lessons of up to 45 minutes in duration with an Equestrian Australia Accredited QOTT Approved Coach.
As part of the Acknowledged Retrainers Program, the QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers will objectively assess the suitability and character of each horse, whilst providing the necessary education and retraining to assist them with their transition to a second career as a pleasure, therapy or performance horse, before rehoming them to a suitable, long-term home.
QOTT Chairperson Sharon Cowden said she was heartened by the positive response to the program.
“The Queensland Off-The-Track Program continues to maximise aftercare outcomes for thoroughbreds and standardbreds across the state,” Ms Cowden said.
“The Acknowledged Retrainers Program was a key initiative of the Martin Inquiry and we are pleased to be able to launch the program in order to support a high-quality first transition for our racehorses, which will ensure they are best placed for future success in their lives after racing.
“The quality – and quantity – of our applicants demonstrates there was strong demand for a formalised program in Queensland, and we look forward to expanding on this initial milestone in future years.”
Late last year, QOTT issued an expression of interest for retrainers, who progressed through a rigorous and thorough application process in order to become QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers for the QOTT Program.
Further initiatives will be rolled out in 2022 including a $200,000 Event Sponsorship Program and a $250,000 Off-The-Track Grants Program.
Click here to see a full list of the QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers.
Click here for further information about the QOTT Program and initiatives.