Tough new fines for failing to track retired racehorses

17 March 2023

Queensland’s racing industry regulator will look to impose tough new fines for racing participants who fail to properly track the whereabouts of retired racehorses.

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) is proposing new penalties for the thoroughbred and harness racing industry with traceability rules and new penalty guidelines for each code of racing.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Shane Gillard said the draft Equine Traceability Enforcement Standard aims to ensure the effective enforcement of the traceability rules so the Commission can safeguard the welfare of horses.

“Compliance with the traceability rules is relatively simple for industry, and the consequences of non-compliance for the retired equine animal can be extreme, when the horse cannot be traced,” he said.

In 2019, industry participants were granted a moratorium period to comply with the traceability rules. The previous Penalty Standard imposed a sanction for the first offence, reprimand for the second, followed by small fines for the third and fourth breaches. 

“Equine racing animals who have brought such joy and often prizemoney to participants deserve proper treatment after racing. It’s a small step to ask racing participants to comply with the traceability rules. Significant monetary penalties will apply where there is non-compliance,” Mr Gillard said.

“The fines include $250 per horse per offence, then $500, then $750, then $1000 for second, third and fourth offences.​

“Failure to comply with a stewards’ direction to comply with the traceability rules will be enforced with a fine of $1000 per horse per offence.​

“The penalties are high, and the Commission makes no apology for its commitment to the rigorous implementation of the recommendations of the Martin Inquiry and the significant consequences for participants who fail to comply with rules which are key to the welfare of racing animals,” he said.

The draft traceability standard works hand in hand with the Commission’s new suite of draft Penalty Guidelines for each code of racing that include the new draft Equine Traceability Enforcement Standard penalties.

The Draft Penalty Guidelines for Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhounds and the draft Equine Traceability Enforcement Standard are now open to industry feedback until 5pm Monday 27th March 2023.

Commissioner Gillard said it is essential the Commission can track the life cycle of a racehorse from youngstock to training, racing, spelling, retirement and the death of a horse, to enable the Commission and Racing Queensland to properly plan to cater for retired racehorses. 

“Owners, trainers and racing participants with responsibility for retired racehorses must inform the Commission about key events in the lifecycle of the racehorse,” he said.

It is proposed that the penalty guidelines for all codes of racing will commence on 31 March 2023.  Queensland will be the first state in Australia to have written penalty guidelines for all codes of racing.

To view the proposed penalty guidelines for each code that will commence from 31 March 2023, please visit the QRIC website.


Media Contact Vincene Overs
0472 842 346