Welcome to the Racehorse Rescue Centre

FAQ Page

Please see below for answers to many of the most common questions we receive

If you do not see your question answered here, please use our Contact Us Form located at the top of our webpage.

Is the Racehorse Rescue Centre a UK registered charity?

Yes, we are a true 100% non-profit charity, that can receive gift aid. We are registered with the Charities Commission; our charity registration number is 1150864.

Do you get funding from the British Racing Authority?

No we don’t receive any funding from the British Racing Authority and rely on donations from the public and fundraising activities organised by our volunteers and members of the public.

There has been a lot of negative press about UK charities over the past 18 months, especially around charities giving the hard sell and being more like big businesses can you comment?

Yes. We are very aware of this negative press and strive to stay abreast of what’s going on within the charities sector. It is very sad that true charities such as ours, and many others out there like us, get thrown into the same category as these ‘business charities’ that spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on salaries and staff benefits. We have no salaries or staff costs.

RRC was initially set up with a £150,000 personal investment by our trustees, these same trustees are still today, covering 80% of our centres running costs and we have yet to finish the full development of our centre here in Carlisle.

Racehorse Rescue Centre are a registered UK charity and are regulated by The Charities Commission for England and Wales ( www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission ) This means that we have to follow regulation to provide the public with confidence that we are a true charity. We must follow compliance rules and provide transparent accountability for all fundraising activities and for every penny that we raise. 

Do you work with Retraining of Racehorses (RoR)?

Yes, we are a RoR Approved Retraining Centre for the care of ‘vulnerable or unwanted’ former racehorses, we serve the whole of the UK.


Is the Racehorse Rescue Centre truly 100% volunteers run?

Yes, we are truly 100% volunteer run and led, meaning we have no salaried or paid staff at all, including our trustees.

Do you re-home ex-racehorses?

Yes, we do. We look for forever homes all over the UK for horses held at our Centre and post details on our website and our social media pages. We will never re-home a former racehorse until the horse in question has been well rested, vet checked, assessed properly, rehabilitated and retrained. We are not horse dealers, we do not acquire our horses from the track. We will always take our horses back if there is any problem.

Do you re-train ex-racehorses?

All horses that come into us, go through a specific process where they are rehabilitated and retrained to the best of their abilities, at our centre before we advertise them anywhere for re-homing. Some horses that come into us and that we retrain remain with us to go on to providing beneficial services to the community, by providing free ‘Equine Assisted Therapy’ sessions for injured soldiers, children, disadvantaged groups and for people suffering from trauma and depression.

Do you sell any of your rescued horses?

No. Because our mission for our horses is to find them a forever home, the title to the horse remains with Racehorse Rescue Centre. We do provide all necessary documentation required for boarding, showing, etc.

Do you breed from any of your rescue horses and could I breed from one of your horses if I re-homed one?

No, Racehorse Rescue horses, cannot be bred from. One of the contributors to the number of unwanted TB horses in the UK, is over breeding. RRC takes a very strong “Adopt, don’t breed” position.

Are you also a riding centre?

No, we are strictly 100% charity, and do not offer riding or any other services or products that are profit making.

What facilities do you have for your former racehorses?

We currently have 6 beautiful stables, which are within our actual centre (a further two in our yard) which also houses our office and our education suite. We own 3 acres of grazing land and have a further 6 acres for respite and grazing, which have been donated to us. We did have 10 donated acres but due to Dec floods last year the farmer that had kindly donated the land needed to reclaim it for his livestock. We have a large outdoor training area, and an accommodation block for our volunteers that come from far away.

How much does it cost if I want to re-home one of your horses?

A donation of up to £500 will be required. We will also encourage you to become a RRC member at £12.50 per year.

How do I apply to adopt one of your horses and what is the process?

Initially please use our contact form Contact Us detailing your interest and aspirations from the horse of your choice, please also include details of the home that you can provide. We will then review your correspondence and contact you as soon as possible.

All potential new owners are required to come to the centre in Carlisle a few times to get to know the horse, ride it and bond with it before a decision is made.

Strict home checks are conducted before a loan agreement will be drawn up and signed by both parties.

A donation to RRC will be required and discussed with you during the process and will need to be paid before taking your new horse home.

We will require regular updates, and we will conduct regular home visits during the first 12 months of adoption, this is for both your benefit and the benefit of the horse. Contact will then be reduced to once a year after the initial 12 months, however we will be available to you, should you need further support.

What is the process that your horses go through from rescue to being available for re-homing?

Our rescue centre here in Carlisle, handles all calls and all horses come to us to be vet checked and assessed, retrained and then go on to foster homes and grazing land that has been donated to us.

When a horse arrives at our Centre we give it a full medical by local vets and it is then turned out after a one month’s isolation period.

We monitor the horses progress with the heard and how it interacts. We handle them daily and it can take from three months to a year to bring them in for retraining, depending on what the horse has experienced by way of injury, neglect or abuse.

Retraining is a, hands on, daily practice, using basic commands in all environments such as heavy traffic on the A7, dogs running between their legs, hens landing on their backs in the stables, young children riding them in the outside arena, until we are confidant and know the horse and all its vices, what its abilities are and the best course for its future.

How many horses have you re-homed?

Since we started rehoming in 2011 we have successfully rehomed 37 former race horses

How many of your re-homed horses have been returned to you?

Nil – All of our horses can be returned to us after they have been re-homed but If a horse if good, and we have done our job properly with matching the horse and rider they will never come back.

We are very proud to be able to state that ‘not one’ of our horses have ever been returned to us after being re-homed, there are very few if any other equine charities like ours that can honestly state this.

Where do your horses come from?

Our horses come into us from trainers, racing owners, young adults that have taken on an ex-racer and can’t cope with it either because, of lack of time or knowledge about retraining. We have had some come in due to owners change in financial circumstances or health problems and because of family separations.

I understand that you have horses that are permanent residents at the centre, why?

Yes, we do, we currently have two horses that have been a little more difficult to find the right homes for, due to age and the other one has a minor ongoing medical problem with his feet. We also have three horses that will remain with us as they are central to the free Equine Assisted therapy services that we provide to disadvantaged groups, children, injured soldiers and people suffering from trauma and depression related problems.

I am a therapist and have read that you run Equine Assisted Therapy programmes can you tell me more?

Of course … Through the years of working with these beautiful animals, refining and developing our own personal skill sets and gaining an understanding of these horses’ selfless services, we have been able to develop, and hone our work with some of the rescues that come into us to also provide invaluable services, in the way of equine assisted therapy sessions for various disadvantaged groups and people.

Equine assisted therapy can be very beneficial for a range of different issues, and we are currently working with various professionals and groups to provide therapy in the areas such as

  • Addiction
  • Anger
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Autism/ ADHD/ADD
  • Behavioural problems/ self-harming
  • Low self-confidence/ being bullied
  • Trauma / PTSD
  • FASD (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder)

Further services are planned to be introduced as we grow as a charity.

What is your future mission and vision for the charity?

Our mission is very much the same as it was back when we started. To rescue and provide a secure and safe shelter for former racehorses to allow them to recuperate, retrain to the best of their abilities to provide them with new skills in new disciplines to be re-homed. Where we have suitable rescue former racehorses, to use them to provide free access to horses for disadvantaged groups, injured soldiers and the disabled allowing these groups to develop their skills and build confidence. Actively lobbying for changes in the law for the welfare of animals in need.

In addition to this and going forward as we grow, we aim to rescue more horses and open other centres around the country based on the successful blueprint we have developed and implemented here.

A very big part of our vision going forward is to become a self-sufficient charity that can support its self without having to reply on public and business donations. We currently have no reserve funds which are needed not only to secure the future of our work but for us to continue developing and providing free programmes to community.

Do you have volunteering opportunities?

We offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities at our Rescue Centre, from home or even within your local community. However, you choose to volunteer for us, your help will make a difference to our work and help us to achieve our objectives.

Most of our volunteering opportunities are not hands-on with the horses, but, there is still plenty of opportunity for you to be around the horses if you volunteer from or visit our Centre in Carlisle.

The biggest areas where we have a shortage of volunteer skills is in Legal, administration and fundraising.

If you are interested in volunteering for us, please read our section on becoming a volunteer for us on our website then you may complete our application form that can be found under the downloads section of our website.

Do you have work experience or apprentice opportunities?

Yes work experience placements are available at our Carlisle Centre. However, places are limited and only offered to those students with previous horse experience and who are genuinely interested in following a career in the equine industry.

In the first instance please us our contact form Contact Us  or call us on 01228 672886 to find out about availability eligibility and more information.

I can’t afford to rehome one of your horses right now, how else can I help your cause?

There are many ways in which you can help Racehorse Rescue Centre. Firstly, by liking and sharing our Facebook page with your friends, which can be found here https://www.facebook.com/theRRC/  you are showing your support, and you will be at the very heart of supporting what we do.

You can also sponsor one of our horses, which is a great way to help horses, and for you to have contact with that horse if you haven’t got your own. For more information on how to sponsor a horse, click here  https://www.racehorserescue.org.uk/sponsor-a-horse/

Other things you may consider include becoming a yearly RRC member, volunteering, running a fundraising event, giving a donation to the centre either for the horses or for a specific fundraising appeal we are working on.

We have an A-Z of fundraising ideas on our website under how to help us.

Perhaps you love to write, and can provide us with content for our Blog.

Can we book someone to come and talk to our school, college or business about your work?

Yes, we do attend various talks around the country. Please contact Sarah Davies in the first instance on 07495 909974 or through our contact form Contact Us

We are looking to run an article/news piece do you have a PR contact?

Yes, Sarah Davies is our PR contact and can be contacted on 07495 909974 or use our contact form Contact Us  Please keep in mind, that we are a very busy working yard and charity and plenty of advanced notice would be appreciated.

Do you have open days?

We are planning to start our open days during the middle of 2017. If you have a specific interest in attending these days, please ensure you are connected to our Facebook and Twitter accounts and your notifications for our pages are set to on, so you get the announcements as they come out.

Do you accept donated items?

We welcome any tack and equipment you wish to donate to the Rescue Centre. Please contact us on 01228 672886 or via our contact form Contact Us

Do you have a sponsorship programme where I can contribute to the cost of one of your horses monthly?

Yes, you can sponsor one of our horses, which is a great way to help horses, and for you to have contact with that horse if you haven’t got your own. Our sponsorship programs also make wonderful birthday and Christmas presents for the horse lovers out there.

For more information on how to sponsor a horse, please click on the ‘How to help us’ tab on our website, where you will find sponsor a horse.

Do you have a membership programme?

Yes, Our Racehorse Rescue Subscription is – £12.50 / 1 Year

By becoming a member of the Racehorse Rescue Centre, you will help us to do more for animal welfare. You will receive our badge and you will save on purchases from our charity shop. You will also have access to members only pages and offers we place on them. Click on the Membership tab on our website to register. We are also currently working to build a portfolio of various discount benefits for our members so keep watching for our notifications.

We are an equine retail business/service provider, how can we support your cause?

There are many ways that you can support our work and cause. We are currently looking for various types of business partners to join our membership benefits programme, by offering discounts on equine goods and services to our member base.

Throughout the year our volunteers run various fundraising events and quite often need to contact companies that are willing to donate prizes or goods for auctions, we are currently building a list of such companies that we can call on to ask.

Please contact Sarah Davies on 07495 909974 or use our contact form Contact Us to discuss this further.

We have advertising opportunities for businesses to advertise on our website.

We are always in need of various equine products/medicines for our rescue horses, if you wished to donate something.

Do you have a corporate sponsorship programme?

We do indeed. We partner with small and large companies across the world working with each to meet their long-term objectives by maximising exposure with RRC.
RRC values mutually beneficial, long term sponsorship partnerships within the corporate sector. We maximise return-on-investment for our partners by creating high-profile public relations opportunities that align their brand and products to our global-recognised charity and worthy cause.
A commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) offers many positive benefits for a company. CSR enhances employee morale, improves brand awareness, and demonstrates to key stakeholders, your generosity to charity and the community.

How much does it cost to use your classified ads service please?


We have 135,000+ followers and an £80,000 online marketing grant, so your listing, will be seen by many.

I am currently studying an equine course; can I contact you to ask you some questions for my course please?

Yes of course. However, because we are so busy, and sometime very short of volunteers. We would ask that you send us an initial email to us, detailing what you are studying, what you would like to talk to us about and how much time you need. We will then get back to you by email or telephone with a date and time of when someone qualified to answer your questions will be available.

“At Racehorse Rescue, we believe, that there is a big difference between a handout and a helping hand. One’s charity and the others friendship, we strive to achieve both”