World Horse Welfare’s pilot scheme to retrain a very small number of ex racehorses has achieved its first success, as Wold’s Agent (Ollie), the first horse to join the scheme, has been found a new home.
The pilot scheme uses World Horse Welfare’s expertise in preparing horses for new lives and finding new homes for them through its rehoming scheme for all types of horses, which is the largest of its kind in the UK.
It is in addition to World Horse Welfare’s existing UK rescue and rehoming operations and led to the appointment of specialist groom, Emma Sawyers, who previously worked at the Darley Racehorse Rehoming and Retraining Centre and now retrains the horses on the pilot scheme at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm in Norfolk.
Ollie arrived at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in January this year to undergo rehabilitation with Emma. He had a short racing career, running a total of five times before he was purchased by an owner who began his training outside of the racing world. Unfortunately, due to an injury she became unable to care for him and so he joined the World Horse Welfare’s pilot scheme.
Following physiotherapy and pole work to develop and rebuild muscle tone, Ollie’s ridden work progressed quickly and after a few months he began to take part in low-level dressage competitions receiving high placings each time.
Once he joined World Horse Welfare’s rehoming scheme, Ollie received a lot of interest from potential rehomers but Rossdales Equine Hospital secretary, Rachel Clay, turned out to be the perfect candidate.
Rachel Clay said, “I have been riding for almost 30 years in a range of disciplines but since becoming a mother I have been taking things easy with just hacking and light hunting. Now the children are older I was keen to find a horse which would help me get back into competing and rehoming seemed like the ideal solution.
“Ollie has settled into his new home with us beautifully and it is clear that he has been impeccably schooled during his time at World Horse Welfare. I’m really excited for us to start our dressage career together!”
World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive, Tony Tyler said: “Ollie’s successful rehoming is an important milestone in the pilot scheme and we are delighted that he is going to a home where he will be able to build on his dressage success. We have also recently added Freddie, another of the horses from the scheme to our rehoming website and it’s encouraging to see him already receiving a number of applications.
“We are very pleased with the success of the pilot scheme so far.”