Every thoroughbred born in Australia goes on a unique journey through life. This website outlines the measures Racing Australia have in place to ensure the highest standards of welfare are maintained.
One of Racing Australia’s core functions is:
To seek and identify emerging issues in relation to Animal Welfare and provide leadership via a common policy approach that includes minimum standards.
Racing Australia, working with its Principal Racing Authorities (PRAs), sets out and enforces guidelines pertaining to welfare. Recent changes have further enhanced the traceability of all thoroughbreds throughout their life cycle.

Before racing

Traceability of thoroughbreds from birth is the cornerstone of animal welfare and integrity. In 2016 Racing Australia introduced new rules which enhanced this process:

Foals must be registered with the Australian Stud Book (ASB) within 30 days of foaling.

  • A Foal Ownership Declaration Form must be lodged within a further 30 days of registration.
  • An Unnamed Horse Change of Location Form must be lodged within seven days of the change taking place.
  • An Unnamed Horse Transfer of Ownership Form must be completed within four weeks of the transfer taking place.

Training & racing

Once a thoroughbred makes its way into the care of a licensed pre-trainer or trainer there are strict guidelines relating to traceability and ethical practices. 

  • A Stable Return must be kept up to date by the pre-trainer or trainer which discloses the location and status of a thoroughbred at all times. 
  • Stewards operating under each Principal Racing Authority (PRA) carefully monitor the way in which thoroughbreds are prepared and treated – prior to and during racing.


After a thoroughbred has finished its racing career, all industry participants have a duty of care to ensure standards of welfare continue. There are many Principal Racing Authority (PRA) programs in place that aim to re-train and rehome retired thoroughbreds who don’t move into the breeding industry.  In 2014, new rules were introduced requiring owners and trainers to inform Racing Australia about the retirement of horses, the reasons for retirement and the destination of the thoroughbreds. Collated data from 27,000 forms reveals that nine out of ten thoroughbred racehorses were retired to either the breeding or equestrian sectors.  

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