Many ex-racehorses can make a successful transition to second careers and the breed is notoriously versatile. Renowned for bravery, stamina and intelligence – the thoroughbred has many qualities sought by riders from a range of other disciplines.  Polo players need grit and determination whilst eventing prospects must stay the trip, yet be graceful through their paces.  A happy hacker should be safe and sane for an every day rider to enjoy.  These pages are filled with stories of successfully retrained thoroughbreds.  Some were big names on the track and others less glorious or simply not suited to a racing life.

Treo Eile was established to help connect owners of retiring racehorses with potential retrainers.

Rehoming a racehorse should not be considered lightly and in all cases the animal’s future welfare is paramount.  As the owner, always discuss the options with your trainer first as they will know the horse best and may recommend a suitable route forward.  A horse that has an underlying physical disability or is temperamental may be more difficult to place and these issues may become problematic and leave the horse vulnerable in future. Always give full disclosure to a potential retrainer and bear in mind that it may be kinder to follow the decision tree and consider euthanasia.

If you are looking to offer a home to an ex-racehorse, contact one of our Retrainers who can help with sourcing a suitable horse for you or never hesitate to contact a trainer directly.  COMING SOON – LIST YOUR RETIRING RACEHORSES.

Below you’ll find our directory of retrainers who can be reached and quick tips to help guide you through any future transaction.  There are downloadable forms that may be used to draw up an agreement if necessary. 




The ‘owner’ is responsible for the horse so they should never be gifted or sold to someone who may not be capable of looking after the animal. If a person is unknown to you, look for a written reference from someone you trust such as a vet or trainer. Even if you choose to offer your horse ‘free to good home’ due diligence is still required.  Many people may be well-intentioned but not capable of providing a suitable home for an ex-racehorse, or you could also fall victim to someone seeking your horse for quick financial gain – either to resell to continue racing, compete in pony races or go to slaughter.

Most racehorses have some sort of value attached to them although many are ‘gifted’ to a caring home. If you cannot find a retrainer willing to buy or loan your horse, you may consider offering a bursary to a retrainer in order to allow some time for an assessment of their potential.

The retrainer may give the horse a little break, then introduce some basic schooling to increase the chances of the horse finding a new home within another discipline.  Usually 4-6 weeks is enough time to judge suitability.  Towards the end of the period, the horse can be advertised with a view to finding a new home.  The cost for this is usually around 25-30 euros per day.



  • Draw up a sale contract or use the Treo Eile Sale Contract which can be found in our resource centre. In all cases, it is advisable to contact a solicitor when entering a contract of any type.
  • Advise Weatherbys Ireland that you no longer own the horse.
  • If you would prefer not to see your horse race again, ensure you specify this on the loan/sale contract so they do not re-enter training.
  • Pass on all information that is relevant to the new owner – dates of the last farrier and vet visit, wormers, information on vet/soundness history as well as details about the horses personality and/or quirks.
  • Public liability insurance could minimise the likelihood of any claim for liability reverting to the original owner/trainer.
  • Check with the new owner that they have insurance. It is also worth asking if there will be veterinary cover for the horse.
  • Look for feedback from the new owner in the form of videos/photographs or perhaps a visit to see the horse by you or someone you trust.
  • Encourage the new owner to register your ex-racehorse with Treo Eile which will ensure they have access to support and knowledge of all upcoming competitions for which they might be eligible.  As a past owner, you may also wish to follow your ex-racehorses.
  • If any further clarification is required, please contact

My favourite thing about the thoroughbred is their willingness to learn and adapt to all that we ask of them. Their kindness and courage is what sets them apart from other breeds"