High welfare standards benefit the individual horse as well as the whole thoroughbred racing industry. Horse welfare and peak performance are closely connected, as multiple champion trainer DJ O'Sullivan regularly stated: "Happy, healthy horses run well."
NZTR’s Thoroughbred Welfare Guidelines
The initial Thoroughbred Welfare Assessment Guidelines were published in 2019. These guidelines have subsequently been used as the basis for the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, by Harness Racing NZ (HRNZ) and other racing jurisdictions, so we can proudly say that the NZ racing industry has led the world in equine welfare.
NZTR Thoroughbred Welfare Detailed Assessment Standards were released July 2023 and can be viewed below:
These standards are more detailed, enabling welfare provisions and the horse’s welfare to be more easily assessed. This is intended as a further resource for Trainers, Breeders, Owners or other Accountable Persons (refer Rule 1429 in the Rules of Racing) to be assured that their horse welfare provisions measure up to acceptable standards, and as basis for welfare assessment during Stable Inspections.
Equine welfare is a priority for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, evident through:
Government-mandated welfare laws and regulations also apply, and a horse’s welfare is the responsibility of the owner or accountable person.