MOORCROFT Racing Welfare Centre, based at Huntingrove Stud, Slinfold in West Sussex, has established itself as a centre of excellence in its mission to re-school and rehabilitate former racehorses so that they can have a real chance at a second career.
This charitable centre for recently retired racehorses is temporary home for a maximum of 28 horses while they are retrained, and has an impressive success rate in subsequently rehoming them. The key to this is the extreme care taken in re-training, backed up by a great team of vets, physiotherapists and riders under the management of Mary Henley-Smith.
Mary, who has extensive experience and skill with horses, said: “This team effort enables the horses to get over any racing injuries or problems and we change them considerably in order to truly give them a sustainable future. Our emphasis is on education, which is why we run demonstrations and courses so that we can enable other riders and owners to extend their own knowledge
“We have just completed a really successful three-week long-reining course and had great feedback from everyone taking part, who found it beneficial, and will be running another one on August 14.”
Long reining an ex racehorse at Moorcroft
Photo: Mark Beaumont
One example of a horse currently being retrained is Mibleu, previously trained by Colin Tizzard, who won at Uttoxeter last year at the age of 14, ridden by Brendan Powell Junior. He stands at 16.1h and ran a total of 74 times in his remarkable racing career, which spanned almost 10 years from 2004 until 2013.
Mibleu, ready for rehoming
Photo Mark Beaumont
Mary said: “He has been a pleasure to retrain and seems very glad to be doing something different. He is enjoying hacking out, both alone and in company and also loves his schooling, can jump a fence and is very easy and straightforward to look after. We hope to find a loving home for him to go to.”
Retraining a retired racehorse at Moorcroft
Photo Mark Beaumont
If you feel you could give one of Moorcroft’s retrained ex-racehorses a good home, contact Mary on 07929 666408, daytime. There is also a chance to see some of the centre’s retrained racehorses at Lingfield Park Racecourse’s Good Friday meeting on April 18, when gates open at 11am. The Moorcroft horses will be parading at 1.15pm in the paddock for the public to see and will also take part in a ‘meet the ex-racehorse’ during the afternoon.
Back at Moorcroft, a demonstration of ridden Moorcroft horses will take place on Saturday May 3 at 11am at the centre, where postural problems in horses will be explained, with advice on how to help improve these. Cost is £10 per seat with all proceeds going directly to help horses at the centre. Book your seat for this on 07929 666408 or via email@example.com
Moorcroft is one of only four charitable racehorse rehabilitation centres in the entire country and is part-funded by Retraining of Racehorses in recognition of its impeccable work in retraining and rehoming former racehorses. It is the only charity of its type in the Sussex area and is run by a prestigious and notable board of trustees.
For remaining funding it relies on donations and its own fully accountable fundraising efforts, including an annual Plumpton Raceday, which this year takes place on October 2014 ( to book a table or sponsor a race, contact Moorcroft or call Alison at Plumpton on 01273 890383.
Last year the Betfair Moorcroft Masterminds Quiz, held at the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London raised a record-breaking £35,000 for Moorcroft funds and is to be repeated again this year- contact Christina Dunlop on 07968 830443.