Retrainer capacity grant helping more retired racehorses find a new home

1 April 2022 Written by Racing Victoria

Racing Victoria (RV) is pleased to announce that $250,000 has been directed to its statewide network of Acknowledged Retrainers to help boost their capacity to transition more retired racehorses to second careers.

In its second iteration, the RV Retrainer Capacity Expansion Grant has been shared between nine Acknowledged Retrainers, with the aim to increase their capacity to take on more off-the-track horses, and help enhance the quality of the Acknowledged Retrainer network in Victoria.

The grant will aid the Acknowledged Retrainers to undertake a variety of resourcing and infrastructure projects to help expand their operations. In most cases, fast-tracking a project that has already been planned or commenced.

As was the case for selecting the inaugural grant recipients in 2021, the selection panel received an overwhelming number of strong applications for this year’s grant, with an extra $50,000 added to the funding pool from the $200,000 available last year.

This year’s successful grant recipients include Spring Creek Equine (Sam Cesnik and Chris Height), Julie Bramucci, MDS Equestrian (Nina and Yona Lloyd), Kacey Ledger, Catherine Sfregola, Louise Abey, Lyn Shand, Fiona McIntyre and Jade Willis.

The projects being delivered by the nine recipients to increase their retraining capacity include four arena developments, staff resourcing, paddock fencing and the construction of a shelter for a walker.

These projects add to the work delivered by the seven inaugural grant recipients in 2021, who grew their capacity to take on an additional 121 horses in the subsequent 12 months, contributing to the 600 retired racehorses re-educated by RV Acknowledged Retrainers each year in Victoria.

This further complements the work of hundreds of trainers and owners who directly transition their horses to second careers following racing.

RV General Manager - Equine Welfare, Jen Hughes, said given the success of the RV Capacity Expansion Grant in its first year, it was pleasing to once again receive a number of high quality submissions.

“The high calibre of applications made short listing hard, but I happy to know the nine recipients chosen will be able to further grow their capacity to take on more retired racehorses with the additional funding from RV.

“While many of the applicants had already planned or considered their projects well before applying for the grant, the funding from RV will expedite the delivery of these projects and in some cases it will also enable the retrainer to expand upon what was originally being considered.

“This type of growth in capacity was something that was near impossible for many retrainers before the introduction of the grant, who rely on horse sales, donations or supplementary employment to sustain and expand their retraining operations.

“This increased growth in capacity by our Acknowledged Retrainers will ultimately safeguard our retrainer network as a critical part of the Victorian thoroughbred racehorse lifecycle and will also further support emerging programs such as RESET – which provides funded retraining for those horses that have struggled to transition to a new home.

“Given the success and importance of the RV Retrainer Capacity Expansion Grant, we will look to roll the program out again across the 2022-23 racing season,” said Hughes.

To learn more about RV’s Off The Track Program and Acknowledged Retrainer network, visit:

Caption: Racing Victoria has announced further grants for retired racehorses.