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One Horse, Two Careers

Beas River Equestrian Centre - Rehabilitation & Retraining Unit

Introduction

Beas River Equestrian Centre (BREC) is the world leader in providing a structured retraining programme for retired racehorses. Following the end of their racing careers, all horses deemed potentially suitable for an equestrian career, are carefully assessed by the HKJC Veterinary team are housed at BREC, they undergo retraining following any necessary rehabilitation. Many of the horses accepted into this programme go on to have valuable second careers, giving joy to hundreds of riders young and old at riding schools in Hong Kong. The Club have also donated over 1,000 horses to China since 1984 and they have played a pivotal role in the development of Chinese equestrianism and horse care. Some horses have also been exported to ranches overseas to retrain in a natural environment and live valuable "second lives".

 
 

Information of Retraining

Information on Rehabilitation and Retraining of Retired Racehorses

On retirement, each horse is first assessed by a member of the veterinary team while at Sha Tin to ensure that it is suitable to enter the Retraining Process (RTU). If successful, the horse is transferred to Beas River Equestrian Centre (BREC) to begin a new chapter in its life. If necessary, an individual rehabilitation plan is followed before retraining commences. From then on, horses can start their training towards a successful second career.

The RTU programme consists of three precise stages identified below, and the entire programme should take several months. The exact time varies for each horse depending on its strength, age, amount of time on the track, attitude and general temperament.

Stage 1 - Re- breaking

This involves desensitising the horses from the racing environment. Horses will quietly start to adjust to the new surroundings. They slowly begin the cleansing process both physically and psychologically in relation to feed, routine, stable management and riding requirement. However, before this can happen, all horses are profiled by the Equestrian Vets, and details are shared with the riders from the RTU as specific programmes may be required for some horses. At the end of this stage, we hope to have achieved a solid foundation to build upon. The horses should have undergone a behavioural change with regards to daily routine. Their feed should be adjusted for general riding rather than racing, and they should be quiet and relaxed while being lunged (therefore without bearing the extra weight of a rider) or ridden on an equestrian track rather than racing tack within the Beas River premises. At the end of this stage, the horses should have settled in and calmed down in their walk, trot and canter and might go over poles on the ground.

Stage 2 – Development

During this stage, we expect a little more from each horse and try to establish an awareness of pace, outline, rhythm and balance with the guidance of the rider. The horses should feel completely relaxed and be able to trot over poles on the ground as well as little fences.

Stage 3 – Further Training

During this stage, we hope to increase the horse's knowledge and confidence, strengthen parts of the body relevant to the tasks asked of the horse and focus on conditioning the horse towards advanced work such as lateral gaits and jumping.

The development is monitored regularly in assessments, whereupon the natural talents and specific requirements of each horse are highlighted; these will determine where the horse can be re-homed after being retrained successfully.

*Please note this is the basic retraining process. For horses to be suitable for the livery holdership programme or riding school use, they will need to be further trained to a higher level by the qualified instructors at each facility.

 
 

Taking a Horse on Livery

Members of the HKJC have the opportunity to take a specific horse on livery, ride and develop it, take lessons with one of our instructors or get it schooled. Horses that are assessed suitable for livery from the Retraining Unit are offered to all Members and can be trialled upon request until a suitable match is found. Yet, Members need to possess adequate riding skills and the capacity to take care of a horse.

 
 

Information for Racehorse Owners Wishing to Take Their Horse on Equestrian Livery

Racehorse owners who do not wish to export their racehorse after their racing careers may relinquish the ownership of the horse to the Club. If the horse is deemed suitable for the retraining program and becomes an equestrian horse, then the racehorse owner has the right of first refusal to take their racehorse on livery at Beas River once retraining is completed successfully and if the Race Owner is assessed as a suitable rider for the horse.

Please contact the Administration Office for further information.

 

Team

A team of 15 Equestrian Assistants take excellent care of the horses in Retraining.

More Rehabilitation and Retraining Unit team members.

Beas River Riding School
Livery Holdership Scheme for Members
Spelling & Rehab
Stable Tour
Getting Started