Care and commitment
Our racing animals are the stars of our sport, and as an owner it is your responsibility to ensure they receive the best levels of care during all stages of their lives, including when they retire from racing.
Caring for an animal is a long-term commitment and one that requires significant time and effort. As owners, it is likely that your horse or greyhound will not be in your immediate care, but rather based at its trainer’s property during its racing career.
However, it is encouraged that you familiarise yourself with the Rules of Racing, which are used to guide all activities associated with the welfare and management of racing animals in the industry.
As an owner, it is also important that you have a retirement plan in place for your horse or greyhound once it finishes its racing career.
The following information provides an overview on the retirement process as well as some of the different rehoming pathways available.
For further information or assistance please contact RWWA’s Animal welfare team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 9445 5333.
As an owner it is your obligation to deregister your horse or greyhound with the State’s Principal Racing Authority, Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA), from racing and explore available avenues for rehoming.
It is recommended that rehoming options are discussed prior to retirement, to ensure that a suitable plan is in place for when your horse or greyhound is ready to finish its racing career.
When planning for your animal’s retirement, consider the requirements for anyone taking on your horse or greyhound as well as any special care needs that it may have. These along with appropriate rehoming options can be discussed with your trainer.
It is important to remember that once your horse or greyhound retires from racing, there are still a number of day-to-day activities required to ensure the welfare of your animal. Therefore, upon retirement there is likely to be some ongoing costs associated with the care of your horse or greyhound until a suitable home is found.
Steps to rehoming your racing animal
1. Develop a retirement plan. Work with your trainer to identify a suitable pathway for the placement of your animal once it retires from racing.
2. Upon retirement, ensure that the appropriate paperwork has been completed and the horse or greyhound has been de-registered from racing with RWWA.
3. Undertake the necessary steps to rehome your horse or greyhound. For horses this may include organising with the trainer to take current photographs for advertisements, organising spelling for a let-down period after racing or while waiting until a placement is found for your horse. For greyhounds this may require ensuring your greyhound is booked in for a pre-assessment with Greyhounds as Pets.
4. For horses, ensure when it is rehomed that the new owner has registered for an Off the Track WA Passport.
Pathways for rehoming horses
There are many established pathways for rehoming horses after racing, including:
• Sold or gifted from racing. The Off the Track WA (OTTWA) website offers a free advertising service for retired racehorses for sale.
• Rehomed through the OTTWA Retraining Program. The program provides retraining and rehoming services for retired racehorses.
• Retraining prior to sale by retrainers. There are a number of retrainers operating outside of the OTTWA Retraining Program who are also able to assist with the retraining and rehoming of horses.
• Owner adoption. Some owners who have the appropriate skills, knowledge and access to suitable accommodation requirements may wish to keep their horse for equestrian or pleasure pursuits once it retires.
Pathways for rehoming greyhounds
There are many established pathways for rehoming greyhounds after racing, including:
• Sold or gifted from racing direct to a suitable new owner.
• Rehomed through the Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) program. GAP is a greyhound adoption program with specialised animal behaviourists who work with the greyhounds to find their forever homes. GAP is also the only WA-based rehoming organisation able to undertake the Green Collar Assessment*.
• Owner adoption. Greyhounds are gentle, sweet natured dogs who enjoy human companionship. Due to their low maintenance and ability to adapt to a number of living arrangements, many owners decide to keep their greyhound as a pet following its racing career.
*Please note it is a legal requirement that all greyhounds must remain muzzled in public, unless they have passed the Green Collar Assessment. Greyhounds who are not adopted directly through GAP are still able to undertake the Green Collar Assessment. For more information, click here.
Off The Track WA
Off The Track WA is committed to promoting Thoroughbred and Standardbreds in their second careers as pleasure and performance horses.
Visit the Off the Track WA website to find out more details.
Greyhounds as Pets WA
Greyhounds as Pets WA works to promote, encourage, and facilitate greyhound pet ownership to the wider community through the provision of safe, healthy greyhounds to homes throughout Western Australia.
Visit the Greyhounds as Pets WA website to find out more details.