The NSW Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Trust is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2011, and it operates in accordance with Racing NSW and their Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Program which was an initiative set up to focus the racing industry from profit, to the welfare of the retired horses or those who don’t quite make it in the racing industry. The Trust has a partnership with the corrective services at Muswellbrook, which gives the inmates a chance to work with the horses when they’ve come from racing and they learn the basics of handling the horses, as well as some natural horsemanship and ground work, which teaches both the horses and inmates mutual respect and discipline.
The trainers take on up to 20-25 horses at a time, most of which will be sold upon their arrival to the training stables at Cantebury Racecourse. The are usually up to 10 years and most have raced prior to coming into the program. They come from trainers, owners and studs and before commencing training, they are spelled in a paddock for 6 months to learn how to be horses again.
Overall the Open Day was an excellent opportunity for both horse lovers and riders to explore the stables, learn the techniques used to retrain the ex-racehorses and an overwhelming sense of faith and relief in what the volunteers at NSW TRT are doing for these magnificent and often misjudged horses. It’s safe to say that my faith in humanity has been restored.