Are you an experienced horse person who is interested in helping standardbreds transition into a productive life beyond the race track?
If so, the Harness Racing Victoria HERO Program needs you.
Harness Education and Rehoming Opportunities is a joint initiative of HRV and the Victorian State Government.
It aims to provide an avenue for standardbreds that have retired from racing to go on to a second life, principally as either a ridden or pleasure harness horse.
The program is recruiting suitably skilled people to come on board as Registered Retrainers.
Ideally, applicants will have worked with off-the-track standardbreds previously and have an understanding of the breed.
However, anyone who is experienced in educating horses under saddle or for pleasure harness purposes is welcome to submit an expression of interest.
HERO Manager Tanya McDermott said Registered Retrainers were required in all parts of Victoria.
“The program was launched in July last year and we have been overwhelmed by the response from the harness racing industry,” McDermott said.
“I am receiving inquiries on a daily basis from owners and trainers who are interested in offering horses – the support from the racing community has been absolutely extraordinary.
“However, it has created a small challenge because we do not presently have enough Registered Retrainers to cater for the demand.”
HERO horses are donated by racing owners and placed with Registered Retrainers for re-education purposes.
At the conclusion of their training the horses are offered for sale, with the proceeds retained by the Retrainer.
Harness Racing Victoria also provides a subsidy to help offset the costs incurred by Registered Retrainers once a standardbred has been successfully placed into a new home.
“Educating a retired standardbred for riding purposes is not difficult for those with a reasonable level of horse knowledge and it is also an incredibly rewarding experience,” McDermott said.
“With interest in the breed for pleasure purposes at an all-time high, there are unlimited opportunities available for the right people to become part of a very exciting project.
“HERO offers ongoing support, education and training for Registered Retrainers and I would encourage anyone who is interested in learning more to make contact.”
For an Expression of Interest Form or further information about becoming a HERO Registered Retrainer, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 0407 413 156 (BH) or visit HRV HERO on Facebook.