National Racehorse Week 2022 will take place 10th-18th September with venues including training yards, studs and aftercare centres once again opening their doors for free to showcase the fantastic lives that racehorses lead.

With hundreds of events taking place up and down the country across the week, National Racehorse Week is open to all including families and those completely new to racing.

Simply enter your postcode into our easy to use postcode finder to bring up the events closest to you and book a place for yourself and up 5 other guests. Please note, this year they have limited bookings to one booking per email.

The phrase ‘it takes a village’ is no understatement when it comes to producing a racehorse. From foal to racehorse to a career after racing, every step is managed, and each horse treated with its own carefully constructed programme by a team of dedicated individuals. 

Take a look below for what you can expect to see and experience at this year’s National Racehorse Week

National Racehorse Week 2022

National Racehorse Week is a nationwide annual celebration of the racehorse and a chance to see first-hand the love, care and attention that goes into looking after them. 

In September 2022, in an experience like no other, over 140 events across the country, including training yards, studs and retraining centres, will open their doors to the public to show what life as a racehorse is really like. 

Here are just some of the things you’ll likely experience during a National Racehorse Week event. 

Daily fitness training

Just like any human athlete, fitness is imperative in preparing the racehorse for the track and ensuring they are in the best of health. There are many parts to keeping a racehorse fit, so during your visit you may get the chance to see the horses on the gallops, taking a restorative swim, warming up/down on the horse walker, or even doing a session on an equestrian treadmill.

Watch schooling

See racehorses honing their skills. Racehorses regularly need to practice all the skills they need on the racecourse, whether that be jumping or learning a particular way of racing to optimise performance. Schooling over jumps, working on different surfaces and environments are all an important part of a racehorse training routine that help the horse to successfully adjust to different situations at the racecourse. It also adds variety to their work and gives them mental stimulation. 

Veterinary care demonstrations

Ensuring that racehorses are in the best health is an absolute priority. There are teams of people dedicated to making sure that racehorses receive the best veterinary care going. Some of the demonstrations you may see on the day are routine vet checks, physiotherapy, the horse solarium and equine dentistry. 

You may well get to watch a vet do a routine check on a racehorse, a dental examination, or even a physio demo. 

Live farriery

Meet the people who look after a racehorse’s hooves, keeping them in the best condition and shoeing them to ensure they’re ready for every race. See a racehorse having its hooves trimmed and being shod. Take the chance to ask questions to the experts in equine foot care. They are an essential part of maintaining a racehorse’s health. 

Taking a break

An important part of any racehorse’s routine is down time and the ‘chance to be a horse’. Racehorses will have a freshly made bed every day and often enjoy a hack or time in the field which is where they all have the opportunity to put their feet up and enjoy a bit of time off. Learn how stable staff work hard to ensure that racehorses are kept in clean, safe environments where the horses can relax and enjoy being pampered. 

Race ready

To perform at the very best, racehorses are supported by dedicated staff who ensure they are ‘race ready’ before the big day. From vet checks, to receiving a special set of racing shoes (not forgetting a long packing list!) go behind the scenes on what it takes to get a horse and jock safely to the starting line on race day.

Retraining

As naturally versatile and highly intelligent animals, racehorses go on to a variety of careers after racing. Experience how racehorses are rehomed, and retrained, going on to live happy and healthy lives. From eventing and dressage, to polo and horse ball – racehorses can do it all!

 

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National Racehorse Week 2022
From birth to yearling

Thoroughbred foals are usually born early in the year. They will spend the early months with mum before being weaned and learning to be independent and socialise with other foals. 

A  yearling is a young horse, either male or female, that is between one and two years old. It is important that young horses get used to being around and handled by people in their early years. They will learn to lead, stand for the farrier and to be around lots of activity. 

Did you know that all thoroughbred racehorses have the same birthday? This is done to make it easier to keep track of horses’ ages. Many racehorse owners accept 1st January as the birthday.

Starting training

Once a horse is ready, they will learn to be tacked up, carry a rider and understand basic human aids so they can continue this learning in training.

A trainer will start each horse off cantering slowly on the gallop and gradually build up their fitness. After around three months of slow galloping a horse will have built up enough muscle and fitness to start doing fast ‘work’ at racing speed!

Did you know that there are around 14,000 horses in training in Great Britain?

The life of an athlete

Racehorses maintain their fitness in training and learn and develop all the skills they need for the racecourse.

Racehorses live the best life, receiving world class care and attention. Daily life on a racing yard usually revolves around a structured routine tailored to each individual horse’s needs.

Did you know the average daily calorie intake for a racehorse is 35,000 calories? That would be the same as eating 600 Weetabix per day!

At the races

Racehorses quickly become accustomed to visiting the racecourse, and receive the best possible veterinary care and attention before during and after competing in a race.

Did you know before a racehorse travels to a racecourse it will be checked over a by a number of professionals to ensure they are safe to race? This includes a vet, equine therapist and a farrier – who changes the horse’s training shoes and fits him with ‘racing plates’.

Life after racing

Racehorses are talented athletes that are highly trainable and intelligent and will go on to a wide variety of careers after racing. Many will be retrained as riding horses, showjumpers, eventers, dressage and showing stars while others take up roles as therapy horses and even falconry!

 

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