Celebrating 30 Years of BTRC

With the arrival 2021, it brings with it the BTRC’s 30th Anniversary. Established in 1991, we look back at some of the key moments in the history of BTRC below…

1) Where it all began

In 1991 Carrie Humble MBE wrote an article in Horse & Rider Magazine entitled ‘Bred to Win’. This article proved to be the starting point for Carrie’s dream to develop the idea of a Centre (the very first of its type in Europe) to rehabilitate retired racehorses for equestrian use, assisted by Louise Hart. Whilst privately retraining several retired racehorses, they discovered the apparent need for a Centre to support retired racehorses. Together they developed the concept of the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre and 30 years ago the TRC was born! Carrie rented eight stables at Birkrigg Park in Kendal, Cumbria (pictured) to begin the work of TRC.

2) Hallo Dandy & Desert Orchid

In 1994 after several successful years operating as TRC, ‘Hallo Dandy’ former 1984 Grand National winner was found in a state of neglect. Dandy was rescued and taken in by Carrie and the team at TRC. Dandy settled in well at the Centre and with lots of care, patience and love – Dandy successfully recovered to be the magnificent horse he once was and become an Ambassador for TRC. Dandy’s story captured the heart of the nation and his popularity was such that in 1996, Carrie took Hallo Dandy and the newly retired Desert Orchid on a tour around the UK & Ireland. The objective of the tour was to raise the public’s awareness regarding Aftercare and the welfare of retired racehorses and to promote the TRC’s work.

3) Making the move from Kendal to Nateby

Following the success of the tour with Hallo Dandy and Desert Orchid support and interest in the TRC grew as more people heard about our work . So much so that the demand on horses seeking help increased and as the TRC was the only Thoroughbred welfare Centre in the UK, providing Aftercare, rehabilitation and retraining for retired racehorses, a move to larger premises was vital. Thankfully, this was possible due to the support of the public through donations and fund raising events and in November 1998 TRC moved to the former livery stables at Poplar Grove Farm in Nateby near Preston where the Centre leased 24 stables; 60 acres of land and an outdoor manege. The TRC added an indoor school; field shelters; a round-pen and three more stables.