Caring for thoroughbreds
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s vision for thoroughbred welfare“A thoroughbred should be provided a good life, with the care and conditions that will allow the horse to thrive and perform to its natural abilities, with minimal discomfort and an absence of suffering.”
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing is dedicated to communicating best practice care and management of thoroughbreds and the minimum expectations for horse care and training. NZTR will sanction individuals who fail to meet these standards.
NZTR promotes adherence to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Animal Welfare (Horses and Donkeys) Code of Welfare (2016) and MPI regulations that provide specific guidelines on proper animal care.
Thoughtful and proper husbandry practices and minimising stress for the horse help ensure its overall welfare. Although some everyday activities may cause short-term discomfort to the horse, good horsemanship and engaging professional services when required can prevent long-term welfare being unduly compromised. Husbandry practices have changed considerably over the years, and it is apparent that, in the handling and education of thoroughbreds, the emphasis is on very gradual conditioning for starting a horse under the saddle.
Jockey, stable hand and trainer education is also provided through mentoring and on-the-job learning, and also by NZ Qualification Authority equine qualifications.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing will:
- Review, update and extend the NZTR Horse Welfare Guidelines to ensure that these are consistent with the government’s Animal Welfare (Horses and Donkeys) Code of Welfare released in 2016
- Ensure that the Rules of Racing reinforce compliance with welfare regulations and appropriate sanctions applied to owners or trainers who are non-compliant.