The pilot programme is an initiative of Racing to Relate (R2R), an international charity established to focus on post racing careers for Thoroughbreds in Equine Assisted Services (EAS) and The Down Royal Corporation of Horsebreeders in Northern Ireland.
The focus of the Thoroughbred Assisted demonstration day was to illustrate the evidence-based training and scientific methodologies undertaken by the University of Bristol vets to assess the transitional life of recently off-track thoroughbreds into a possible career in equine assisted services. It was also an opportunity to highlight the suitability of off-track thoroughbreds within the equine assisted sector and the incredibly important work undertaken at Horses for People and similar EAS service providers. Centre-stage on the day of course were the magnificent phase one Thoroughbred Assisted horses, including the latest recruit, a broodmare sponsored through ITBA, ITBA Northern Region and Treo Eile.
A warm welcome was offered by Racing to Relate Chairman Adrian Pratt and by June Burgess of Horses for People and her dedicated team. Guests were invited to watch a moving demonstration by two of June’s former workshop participants. The first was a Human Trafficking Support Worker with Woman’s Aid, who had facilitated a group of women who had been survivors of trafficking to work with June and the thoroughbreds. The second was Eddie Rea, a severe PTSD sufferer.