August 1st is always a significant day in the racing industry, marking both the horse's birthday and the start of a new season. This year it got us thinking about what we can do to give back to the horses who have given us so much.
After a bit of brainstorming, we have decided that for every horse Riverrock Farm sells this season either publicly or privately, we will donate $250 toward the costs associated with rehoming and retraining off-the-track thoroughbreds. We hope that by the end of November we will be able to donate upwards of $3,000 to one or two of New Zealand’s deserving thoroughbred rehomers. These guys are such an asset to the industry and are integral to showcasing the diversity of the thoroughbred and giving them a life after racing.
We think thoroughbred welfare is so important and believe that we are all responsible for giving every horse the best chance to live a happy life and excel both on and off the track.
Welfare has always been a priority at Riverrock Farm and we are consciously making an effort to give back as much as we can. In the past we have supported off-the-track thoroughbred events, rehomed ex-racehorses ourselves, and any horses we send to a rehomer, we always ensure they leave in the best condition possible, with new shoes etc.
We have also kept a couple of forever horses of our own in particular Massale (aka Hank) whom Chad trained. He is invaluable as a lead pony and teaching the young horses the ropes.
Although it’s only a small amount per horse, alongside our contribution through stakes percentage, we know every little bit adds up. In a typical year, we sell upwards of 20 horses, with 12-15 due to go under the hammer at November’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run sale alone. So we hope that we can make a small difference to a number of horses over the coming years.
We believe that if everybody went that little bit further, together we could achieve a lot and give back to the horses who have given us all so much.
Which rehomers we will donate to will be decided at the end of November through a social media competition, so keep an eye out on our page for updates, to see the contribution grow and learn how you can enter or nominate an eligible rehomer.