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Racing Industry Welfare

Racing Industry Welfare

Horse Welfare

Horse Welfare Guidelines

The Australian racing industry is committed to the welfare of the Australian thoroughbred.


Team Thoroughbred NSW

Team Thoroughbred NSW is the heart of Racing NSW’s commitment to the Thoroughbred horse, operating under our motto, “For the love of the horse”. Racing NSW’s extensive equine welfare department encompasses a range of initiatives to ensure the welfare of NSW Thoroughbred racehorses. Racing NSW equine welfare initiatives are built on the principles that all Thoroughbred horses should be treated equally irrespective of success or ability and that all Thoroughbred horses should find a suitable new home following their racing careers.

These principles are the foundation of Equine Welfare Local Rule 114 (‘LR114’) which was introduced by Racing NSW in October 2017. This rule is in addition to Australian Rule of Racing 231 and is designed to ensure the welfare of thoroughbreds throughout their life whilst in the care of NSW Thoroughbred Industry Participants, and in particular how they are protected upon retirement. Racing NSW has released Minimum Standards and Guidelines of Equine Welfare, which contains compulsory Minimum Standards and also ‘best practice’ Guidelines for the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry. 1.5% of prizemoney from every Thoroughbred horse race in NSW is directed to the Equine Welfare Fund to support Racing NSW equine welfare initiatives. Racing NSW veterinarians, investigators and stewards conduct retired horse audits to ensure ongoing traceability of horses in their retirement, provide advice to new owners, and in a small number of cases identify welfare concerns. Racing NSW provides a regulatory framework to deter and investigate those participants who don’t appropriately care for and rehome their horses.

The vast majority of NSW Thoroughbred Industry Participants provide exceptional care for their horses throughout their lives and find suitable homes for their horses upon their retirement from racing. In instances where owners have been unable to find a suitable home, Team Thoroughbred NSW is on hand to assist.

Racing NSW has invested significantly in acquiring properties for the purposes of equine welfare and Team Thoroughbred NSW currently operates out of 6 sites. On these properties, horses that are surrendered to Team Thoroughbred NSW are assessed, retrained, and rehomed for a variety of new pursuits.

For further information about Team Thoroughbred NSW and Racing NSW Equine Welfare initiatives, visit or contact us on (02) 9551 7500.


Participant Welfare

Racing Mates

Established by Racing NSW, Racing Mates empowers mates to look out for mates. This is a program open to all racing industry participants.

Having access to Clinical Psychologists, Counsellors and Assistance Hotlines is essential and these services are available. However, people are often more likely to initially reach out to a trusted peer or colleague for support. This is why Racing Mates has appointed Ambassadors who are available as a port of call when industry participants are in need of a mate.

The Ambassadors possess a wealth of industry knowledge allowing them to relate to multifaceted concerns people may be experiencing. Industry specific expertise combined with accredited training ensures Ambassadors can provide a crucial link between those in need and the required support.

For further information on how you can speak to your local Ambassador visit

Racehorse Trainers and Participants

  • Trainers and Participants Assistance Program

Racing NSW has engaged David Goldman, Psychologist, to provide free confidential counselling services to trainers and participants in need of assistance. The families of trainers and industry participants may also be eligible.

For further information go to:


  • Jockey’s Trust
    Initiated by Racing NSW, the Trust provides financial support and funding for current or former NSW and ACT jockeys and their families who require assistance. This includes but is not limited to:

    • Those who have suffered injury
    • Those affected by illness
    • Those requiring financial aid

For further information go to:

  • Jockey’s Assistance program

Racing NSW has engaged Grant Brecht and Oliver Brecht, Sports Psychologists, to provide free confidential counselling services to jockeys and their families in need of assistance.

For further information go to:

  • Jockey Career assistance

This initiative provides funding for programs and initiatives to benefit jockeys’ welfare both during their riding career and in retirement, including vocational and life skills training, career transition support, business start-up assistance and financial planning advice.

Applications for funding to undertake new career training in preparation for retirement from riding or to start-up a new business can be made to Racing NSW.

For further information go to:


For further information contact Phillip O’Brien, Safety and Welfare Officer on (02) 6332 4186.

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