BTRC Bring Smiles to the Residents of Heron Hill Care Home

Friday 6th May 2022 saw Team BTRC head out to visit the residents of Heron Hill Care Home in Kendal, Cumbria with Bomber and Washbear as part of the BTRC’s Community Engagement work.

Over 40 residents came outside to spend time with the horses and learn more about the work of BTRC, they enjoyed stroking the horses and learning about their past. Resident Mona said, “It was the best day today seeing the horses so close and being able to stroke them, I loved it and want to see them again.”

This was the first care home visit for 5 year old Bomber who raced 9 times. He was a real superstar; quiet, calm and interested in saying hello to each and every resident. A true example of how adaptable and loving Thoroughbreds can be. Of course, Washbear was her usual charming self and enjoyed meeting everyone too (but mainly enjoyed eating the carrots!).

BTRC Communications & Engagement Manager, Lauren Lindsay said “It was both heart-warming and overwhelming to see how much of a positive impact our horses had on the residents of Heron Hill Care Home. It is so important to reach out to those people in the community who may not have a direct link to the racing industry and educate them on Thoroughbred Aftercare.”

If you would be interested in a visit from BTRC please get in touch with Lauren via email: or call 01524 812649

Painting a Play Area for Racing Together Community Day

Team BTRC offered their volunteering services to local community centre The Centre @ Halton as part of the third Racing Together Community Day on Thursday 5th May 2022. The team consisted of five BTRC staff members; Lauren, Molly, Megan, Emily and Maisie and two work placement students, Hannah and Alex. Armed with paintbrushes, sand paper and paint they set to work to re-fresh the children’s play area. A quick sand down followed by two coats of new paint and the play equipment looked fantastic once again!
Racing Together Community Day, is an opportunity for a range of racing businesses and charities nationwide to engage with and support their communities through local volunteering activities. Over 65 organisations from across the sport in locations nationwide embraced the day by giving up their time to help others.

During the volunteering session BTRC chatted with Grounds Staff member Gary who shared tales of his childhood, in particular the time he got to ride world famous racehorse Red Rum on the beach at Freshfield nr Formby. BTRC Communications & Engagement Manager Lauren said “It was a fantastic opportunity to give back to our local community and a great team building day for the staff to come together for a great cause. Meeting with local members of the community and educating them about our work was an added bonus to the day, especially Gary who had ridden Red Rum!”

Luke Mills, Clerk to the Parish Council said “We are very grateful for the small team of volunteers from The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre who helped in maintaining the children’s play equipment at the Centre @ Halton. They were fast workers and managed to sand and paint the swings, monkey bars and seat in a short amount of time despite the rain. It looks much better now and should not need painting for a couple of years.”

To watch the video published by Racing Together click here:

Charities Work Together as BTRC Welcome BHS Chief Executive James Hick

BTRC welcomed The British Horse Society Chief Executive James Hick to the Centre on 20th April 2022 to discuss how the two charities can work closely in the future. James was joined by BHS Regional Manager for the North West Lyndsay Dring who works closely with the BTRC team on events and training clinics.

L-R: BTRC Chairman John Sexton, BHS CEO James Hick, BTRC CEO Gillian Carlisle, BHS Regional Manager for the North West Lyndsay Dring and BTRC Communication & Engagement Manager Lauren Lindsay

BTRC Chief Executive, Gillian Carlisle said “It was super to see James at the Centre again as James has been a long-standing supporter of our work and was previously a BTRC Trustee. Going forward it is vital that racing and equestrian organisations collaborate on areas of common interest, such as training and education, in order to continue to deliver a high standard of horse welfare in the UK.”

BTRC was the first Retraining Centre in the UK to become BHS accredited. The BHS Approved Centre Scheme is a quality assurance scheme and those Centres which meet the standard for approval must have public liability insurance, excellent standards of horse welfare and trained staff as a minimum.

Loaner to Run London Marathon in Aid of BTRC

Hannah Tomkins loans BTRC Fruit and Nut from the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre and on Sunday 2nd October 2022 will be running the London Marathon to raise much needed funds for BTRC.

Hannah’s Story:

I currently loan BTRC Fruit and Nut (Flo) from The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre (BTRC) and will be running the London Marathon on behalf of the BTRC. I’m 25 and working as a junior doctor in the East Midlands. I’ve been running long distances for over a year but this will be my first marathon. Having visited the Centre on numerous ocassions to try Flo, I can see the hard work and dedication the team have towards rehabilitating the horses. The rehoming process and vulnerable horses programme shows how important it is to support the charity and how essential their work is to aid throughbreds leaving the racing industry. Wish me luck!

Please donate now to help Hannah achieve her fundraising target. The more money Hannah raises the easier those 26.2 miles will feel!!! (We hope 😬)

The Sun Shines for BTRC Coffee Morning

Thank you to all that came along to our Coffee Morning on Saturday 9th April 2022. It was a wonderful, sunny day and everyone enjoyed spending time with the horses and learning more about our work.

Visitor Sue said of the event: “Just to say thank you to all the team at BTRC for a thoroughly enjoyable coffee morning today and of course Gillian for talking to us about each of the horses. She strikes the right balance between seriousness and humour with a wealth of information and knowledge on these majestic animals. Also, thanks to Charlotte and Amy for their demonstration. My friends and I had picked the ones we wanted to take home unfortunately they wouldn’t fit in the dog crate in the car!!”

Thank you also goes to our fantastic volunteers; Maria for helping out on the day and Sue and Caroline for their delicious homemade cakes! If you would like to volunteer please get in touch with Lauren at

If you would like to visit us at the next event, please keep your eyes on our social media pages and the events section of the website.

National Equine Welfare Council visit BTRC

In March 2022 we welcomed Hannah Bryer, Director at the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) as part of our re-accreditation visit. BTRC are a long-standing accredited member of NEWC, an organisation that works to protect horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, by providing support, guidance and a communication forum to equine organisations, businesses and charities to help raise equine welfare standards nationwide.

NEWC membership provides an assurance to both the public and the industry that equine welfare is the priority. Through working collaboratively with the industry and its members, NEWC is committed to improving efficiency through sharing information and resources.
Streamlining education, regulation and enforcement initiatives are NEWC’s key objectives to ensure horse welfare standards steadily improve. The NEWC network is very wide with over 70 members throughout the UK which include equine welfare charities large and small as well as a multitude of organisations from the equestrian and veterinary sectors of the equine industry.

We are very proud to be part of this organisation doing incredibly important work for welfare standards in the UK. If you would like to know more about NEWC please take a look at their website

BTRC Deliver BHS CPD: Between the Lines – Lunging & Longlining Clinic

Thanks to the changes brought about by multiple lockdowns many owners have chosen over the last year to carry out more exercise of horses and ponies from the ground to reduce risks relating to mounted activity or to bring horses back into work after having had some time off. As a result of this, the British Horse Society appraoched BTRC to deliver a lunging and longlining demonstration/clinic for local equestrians and CPD for BHS qualified coaches. A lot of the work rehabilitating and retraining thoroughbreds at BTRC involves longlining and lunging, both are very effective training methods when used correctly.

The sold out event was held at the Centre on Saturday 12th March with over 35 people in attendance, some of whom brought their own horses for advice and some of the audience booked participation tickets that enabled them to have a go with the Centre’s horses.

The event was split into four sessions covering different aspects of lunging and longlining. The first session covered the fundamentals and how to get started. Followed by exercise for rehabilitation, maintenance and lastly production. The final session comprised of two external horses that had been brought along by their owners for lunging and longlining advice and help. Alison, one of the owners said of the clinic ‘Thank you so much for the event on Saturday. Fox and I really enjoyed it and I now feel much more confident about long lining him’. If you would like to collaborate with BTRC on an event please get in touch.

BTRC Visit Local School for National Careers Week

As part of National Careers Week in March 2022 BTRC collaborated with Inspira, a nationwide careers charity, to organise a visit to Underley Garden School in Kirkby Lonsdale to educate the SEN students about different careers they could embark on whilst working with horses. Our Communications & Enagagement Manager Lauren, visited the school with BTRC Washbear to talk to the students about how to care for a horse and the many, many different roles that are available when working with horses either in equestrian or racing.

Lauren said ‘We had a fantastic visit to Underley Garden School to talk to the students about careers in equestrian and racing. The students were very excited to meet our Shetland pony Mascot, BTRC Washbear and learn about the basic aspects of caring for a horse. They were all very well behaved around her and knew to be gentle and quiet when handling her. During the classroom session we discussed the many different job roles they could consider whilst working with horses and the students asked some very important and thought provoking questions. It was a brilliant day and I hope it gave the students some new ideas for a career they maybe hadn’t considered before.’

The students, who ranged from ages 5 to 19, also had the chance to meet BTRC Mascot Washbear and take her for a walk around the grounds of their school. As a result of the visit one of the students has applied to carry out a work placement at BTRC.Underley Garden School visited BTRC with some of their students back in 2021. To read about that visit please click here.

If you would like BTRC to visit your school/communnity project etc. please contact Lauren on

Retired Racehorses Helping Today’s Racehorses at the ARVS Casualty Management Seminar

On 7th Feburary 2022 BTRC attended Aintree Racecourse for the second Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons (ARVS) Casualty Management Seminar with 5 retired racehorses to assist over 100 racecourse vets with their training.
The annual seminar is organised by the ARVS and aims to deliver training updates and new practices to all racecourse vets in the UK to ensure the welfare of Thoroughbreds on and off track. Dr Ellen Singer DCM DVSc DipACVS/ECVS MRCVS (Associate Scientific Meeting Organiser for ARVS) said of the event “The meeting today is all about educating veterinary surgeons that work on the racecourse to a high standard so we can protect the welfare of the horses to the best of our ability during racing”.

The ARVS has been instrumental in improving the standard of veterinary care and welfare of horses on UK racecourses through the provision of quality CPD at the annual Casualty Management Seminar. One of the many training stations saw the “revolutionary” equine fracture support kit funded by the Racing Foundation being demonstrated to vets with the help of BTRC Peter Pan. Every racecourse in Britain will be given one of these in what has been described as a “major equine welfare initiative”.

Noting the importance of using Thoroughbred’s for the Seminar, ARVS Chairman, James Bosley said “It’s extremely important for us to use Thoroughbreds during the course as we are trying to make it a practical based course as the job is very practical. Having access to retired Thoroughbreds to practice putting casts, Robert Jones bandages on etc, is fundamental to the nature of the course.’

It was wonderful to see retired horses being such an excellent resource to aid this invaluable and vital training for the benefit of future racehorses and their welfare.