Celebrating 30 Years of BTRC

2021 is the year of 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.

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Job Vacancy: Stable Staff / Apprentice Wanted

Stable Staff Wanted

  • No riding required but previous experience with horses preferable
  • Suitable for apprenticeships
  • Part-time / full time position (hours to be discussed with the preferred candidate)
  • Minimum wage
  • Must be able to drive due to the rural location of the Centre (this is not a live in position)
  • Starting date 11th January 2021

Please click here to download the application form. Closing date – 31st December 2020

Celebrating BTRC’s Vulnerable Horse Programme

BTRC is the pioneering Thoroughbred welfare centre in the UK and for almost 30 years has been a safe haven for any Thoroughbred that has fallen on hard times as the Charity will never turn away a horse that needs our help.

We are a dedicated and expert team that care daily for our wonderful 4-legged family of boys and girls, supported by West Ridge Equine veterinary practice as well as offering a 24/7 emergency hotline for any TB owner (please call 01524 812649 at any time). Our charitable activities along with support from the Racing Industry fund these vulnerable horses through their rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming including regular checks to ensure their future is safe-guarded for life. As BTRC never sells their horses but instead offers them on forever loan.

If you or anyone you know are struggling to care for your horse, for any reason. In particular due to the financial impact of COVID19 or if you need to rehome your horse but cannot sell it due to veterinary issues or behavioural problems, then please contact us. If you would like to donate to help us help more retired racehorses please click here.

We hope you enjoy the before and afters video below. All these horses entered BTRC under the Vulnerable Horse Programme and thanks to our team, and not forgetting TopSpec who provide all the food that meets the nutritional needs to allow these horses to develop strength and condition in order to their very best.

Break In at BTRC followed by Incredible Support…

Drop Off Point Volunteer Kim Jones with BTRC CEO Gillian Carlisle

On the evening of 5th August 2020 BTRC was unfortunately broken into and a large amount of tack, rugs, boots, travelling equipment, yard equipment was stolen, as well as all of our demonstration tack and equipment.

Following the break in we posted a social media appeal, asking for any unwanted items to be donated to BTRC such as tack/rugs/boots etc. to help replace our stolen items. The appeal went viral with the post being shared over 1,500 times and with more than 178,000 people viewing the post we started to be contacted by people all over the UK willing to help out.

What followed was a huge effort by BTRC supporters around the country to set up local drop off points. 23 drop off points were arranged all around the UK from Dumbarton in Scotland, down to Exeter in Devon and across to Norfolk on the East Coast.  Each drop off point volunteered to liaise with supporters and hold donated items for BTRC until we were able to collect it, some using their yards or places of work and others even using their spare bedrooms!

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BTRC Blog for Racing Together

BTRC CEO Gillian Carlisle was approached by Racing Together to write a blog for their website all about the work of BTRC and the challenges that lie ahead.

Racing Together is British racing’s community engagement activity and is a partnership of charities and other organisations who work across the sport to benefit others. Racing Together was formed to coordinate, support, represent and measure British racing’s community engagement activity that takes place right across the industry. Racing Together’s vision is for British racing to be known as a ‘force for good’ by helping the communities in which the sport operates.

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Horse Welfare Board launches strategic review of funding model for the welfare of retired racehorses

We are delighted there has been some forward movement regarding the next step in generating an Aftercare Strategy for UK racehorses.

BHA state ‘The review will focus on ensuring the aftercare sector is financially sustainable and can consistently provide care and careers for racehorses beyond racing over the long term. The project is generously supported by the Racing Foundation.

The Horse Welfare Board’s ‘A Life Well Lived’ Strategy put in place a plan for the welfare of horses bred for racing to, amongst other areas, build public trust with its welfare processes and demonstrate its lifetime commitment to horses and their welfare. This review is a key project recommendation of the new strategy, assessing and ensuring the funding of aftercare is fit for purpose and highlighting areas for improvement.

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COVID-19 Support from Racing Industry

For all charities such as The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre these are extremely challenging times. We would therefore like to express our sincere thanks to the Racing Industry for acknowledging the vital work that we do, in particular the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), Racing Foundation and Retraining of Racehorses who have provided our Charity with much needed financial support during this crisis.

Many of our wonderful supporters have been continuing their donations and assisting BTRC in anyway they can. If you are reading this and would like to donate to support BTRC during these uncertain times, please click here.

BTRC Deliver at the International Eventing Forum

BTRC were honoured to be invited to deliver a demonstration at the International Eventing Forum on 3rd February 2020 at Hartpury College.
The International Eventing Forum is the brain child of a group of experienced equestrian professionals who are passionate about the sport of eventing. They do say that ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ and from its inaugural date in 2004, the Forum has grown and developed into the ‘must attend’ pre-season fixture that it is today. An essential date for riders and trainers of all levels of experience and ambition in the sport of eventing, the Forum brings the highest calibre of speakers, from Olympic Gold Medallists to the trainers of Olympic Gold Medallists, together with ‘demo’ riders of varying levels of experience and horses of all shapes, sizes and abilities, to offer attendees genuine insights into how to train better, safer and smarter, for improved and long-lasting performance results.

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BTRC Join List of Speakers at International Eventing Forum

BTRC are honoured to be delivering a demonstration at the up-coming International Eventing Forum on Monday 3rd February 2020 at Hartpury College. CEO Gillian Carlisle will be delivering an insightful demonstration with some of our BTRC horses discussing the importance of Thoroughbreds in eventing and the process of taking a horse off the track and the associated challenges that may be faced.

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