More than 60 riders took part when a unique challenge to Britain’s equestrian community – ‘Ride for Retraining’ – was launched in the beautiful Holker Hall Estate in the heart of the Lake District on 24th April.

‘Ride for Retraining’ is a nationwide initiative to mark the 25th Anniversary of The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre, Britain’s original and biggest Centre dedicated to the retraining and rehoming of racehorses for new careers after racing.

To celebrate the BTRC’s Silver Jubilee, the Centre is hoping to raise £100,000 to increase the size of the yard from 40 boxes to 80 and so double the number of horses that can be helped every year.

The initial ride which saw riders from all over the North West take part in an organised ride starting from Cartmel Racecourse and taking in some of the best views in the South Lakes on a fabulous parkland ride past historic Holker Hall, home of the Cavendish family, gave the scheme a flying start.

And while there will be further organised rides at Chatsworth House in the Midlands and Goodwood House in the south later this year, the BTRC hopes that individual riders, pony clubs and equestrian centres across the country will support the scheme by organising their own rides.

“We want as many riders as possible to join in and support us so that we can help many more of the horses coming out of racing every year to find new and happy careers when their racing days are done,” said BTRC Chairman John Sexton.

And BTRC Chief Executive, Gillian Carlisle added: “Our 25th Anniversary celebrations are now underway and the Ride for Retraining campaign is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get involved in this great fund-raising appeal.

“All you have to do is ride as many miles as you can, on your own, with a friend or as part of a planned ride such as a pleasure ride or endurance activity – so that together we can reach our goal of raising the £100,000 for the new stable block.

“For those fund-raisers really wanting to go for it by getting themselves sponsored or where a club or group join together to raise money for the cause, there will also be the opportunity to have a stable named after their club or group to thank them for their valuable effort.”

To take part in Ride for Retraining simply visit the BTRC website, sign up to ride and donate £10.  Everyone who registers will then receive a Ride for Retraining hi-viz tabard to wear while out hacking or on a pleasure ride.

Once they have completed the ride, they will be asked to log the distance covered on the BTRC website and that will be added to the overall total.

Everyone’s individual mileage will be added together so riders can follow not only the fundraising effort but also the distance achieved throughout the next eight months before the initiative ends on 5th November.

It is hoped that as well as donating £10 to take part, as many riders as possible will use the opportunity to raise more money through getting themselves sponsored by  friends and family, but the main aim is to get as many riders as possible taking part.

The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre is the UK’s leading charity wholly dedicated to ex-racehorse welfare. By appropriately retraining and rehoming ex-racehorses from their base in Lancashire the BTRC is proud to provide a secure future for these horses for the rest of their lives.

For more information and to sign up for Ride for Retraining visit www.thetrc.co.uk or telephone (01524) 812649.

Karen Sargeant

Karen Sargeant

Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc.

She absolutely loves her job (how many people can say that?!) and is truly grateful to all supporters of and contributors to Eclipse Magazine.

If you are reading this she would like to say THANK YOU! (And please spread the word about Eclipse...!!)
Karen Sargeant