QRIC Media Release: Animal Welfare Grants a boost for life after racing

Friday 20 January 2023

Twenty successful recipients of the 2022-23 Racing Animal Welfare (RAW) Grants have been awarded a total of more than $71,000 to help horses and greyhounds transition into a healthy and active life after racing.

Queensland Government Racing Minister Grace Grace announced this year’s recipients, praising them for their important work in safeguarding the welfare of retired racing animals.

“I’d like to congratulate this year’s RAW Grants recipients, who are helping former racing animals in life after they pass the winning post for the last time,” Ms Grace said.

“It’s clear the hours of volunteer work going into education, training, and raising awareness around off-the-track rehoming is paying off, with thousands of former racing animals being adopted across the state.”

Many recipients are helping retired racehorses transition into equestrian competitions, like the Standardbred Association of Queensland, which has rehomed almost 1,300 standardbred horsed retired from harness racing.

Based in Marburg, the Association runs the Annual Open Dressage Spectacular and State Dressage Championships events that showcase the potential for retired racehorses to become high-calibre dressage performers.

The Association will use its funding to purchase a professional portable dressage arena and dressage letters for competitions and training.

In Toowoomba, The Royal Agricultural Show Society of Queensland will use funding to boost the prize money on offer in its Hunter and Hedger Cups.

Both prestigious categories are only open to registered and retired thoroughbred horses and are high-profile demonstrations of the potential for racehorses to be retrained after retirement.

One of the biggest show jumping competitions in North Queensland will also receive a funding boost. The Tropical North Show Jumping Club’s Championships and Off-the-track Spectacular feature Off-the-track classes restricted to ex-racehorses.

These competitions showcase the ability of racehorses to become highly competitive showjumpers, and a more affordable competition option for riders who wish to compete successfully.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Shane Gillard said this year’s RAW Grants projects show the versatility of former racehorses.

“There are still misconceptions about the ability of retired racehorses to be retrained after their racing careers are over,” said Mr Gillard.

“But the work of these grant recipients is putting a spotlight on the versatility of these horses and is showing that they can be retrained to have incredibly successful post-racing careers.

“It’s great news for any competition riders who are looking for a more affordable competition horse, and who can unleash the untapped potential of an off-the-track horse.”

In a first for the program, the 2022-23 RAW Grants will also fund not for profit Love a Greyhound to offer professional training sessions for retired greyhound adopters to smooth the transition from racing to pet life.

“I am thrilled to see the program has extended its support to the retraining of greyhounds to assist their transition from racing to the community,” Mr Gillard said.

“Retired greyhounds make wonderful pets and any program designed to support adopters is wonderful.

A full list of QRIC 2022-23 RAW Grants recipients is available on the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission website 2022/23 RAW Grants recipients – Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (qric.qld.gov.au).

For more information on the RAW Grants, contact the QRIC Animal Welfare team on 1300 087 021 or email welfare@qric.qld.gov.au

Media contact: Nicole Rowles

E: nicole.rowles@qric.qld.gov.au

P: 0467 955 412

QRIC RAW Grants recipients 2022/23

South Burnett Western Performance Club Incorporated

Racehorse to Ranch Horse 2023 – $4,695

Equestrian Queensland

Development Off-the-track 2023 – $5,000

Standardbred Association Queensland Incorporated

Working Equitation Equipment – $4,820

Mareeba and District Pony Club Incorporated

Off-the-track Safe Yards – $4,966.50

Redlands and Southern Districts Equestrian Group

The Great Southeast Off-the-track Dressage Series – $4,830

Lockyer Equestrian Group Incorporated

2023 Off-the-track Clinics with accredited Off-the-track trainer Sharyn Ross – $1,500

South Burnett Western Performance Club

Get up on that High Horse – $850

Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland

Toowoomba Royal Show Hunter and Hedger Cups – $3,200

Love a Greyhound Incorporated

Professional re-training – $4,975

Mane Matters Incorporated

Off-the-track Standardbred from the Ground Up Workshops – $1,500

Maryborough Active Riders Club Incorporated

Life Beyond Racing Off-the-track transition – $4,963

Standardbred Association Queensland

Portable Dressage Arena and Dressage Letters – $4,925

Maryborough Active Riders Club Incorporated

Off-the-track to Hack Feature at MARC All Breeds Show 2023 – $1,913

Tropical North Showjumping

Championships and Off-the-track Spectacular – $3,200

Caloundra Equestrian Association Incorporated

Showjumping event – $5,000

Roma Show Society Incorporated

Roma Show Society Off-the-track Horses – $2,000

Standardbred Association Queensland

IT Equipment for Horse Placement Program – $3,371

Locker Equestrian Group Inc.

2023 Event sponsorship for Off-the-track classes at Hack Show and Official – $2,066.44

Maryborough Active Riders Club Inc.

Fraser Coast Dressage Star Championships 2023 – $5,000

Rockhampton Equestrian Group Inc.

REGI events 2023 – $2,300