In a letter published in the Racing Post this week, the chairman of one of Britain's first aftercare groups criticized the funding model for Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), the industry-funded organization tasked with promoting off-track Thoroughbreds and providing a safety net to those which may be vulnerable.
John Sexton, chairman of the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, raised questions about how much of RoR's budget funds classes at British horse shows and parades of OTTBs as opposed to funding groups like his, which handle care and rehoming for horses in need. Sexton questions whether the promotion of events is the best way to serve “vulnerable” horses, since those participating in shows are unlikely to be in danger of neglect and therefore aren't vulnerable. Sexton also claims that RoR funding to the organizations it accredits has shrunk and that since the group overhauled its aid system, imposing a per horse and overall limit to funding. That per horse payment, he says, is too low and in the case of the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, only supports about half the number of horses the Centre takes in at a time.
Di Arbuthnot, RoR chief executive, refutes Sexton's claims, pointing out that funding of OTTB-specific classes at horse shows acts as a prevention, rather than a cure, to horses becoming vulnerable. Arbuthnot also points out that Sexton's organization withdrew from the RoR's network two years ago, making it ineligible to receive funds from the group or to be accredited.
RoR is, according to Sexton, in the process of undergoing a strategy review.
Read more, including Sexton's complete open letter, at Racing Post
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