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Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre News




THE welfare of retired racehorses in Britain took a major step forward when
the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre announced today (MONDAY 22 MARCH)
that it would be moving into its own premises next year.

The TRC is purchasing a 130-acre farm near the village of Pilling several
miles from its current rented accommodation in Nateby, Lancashire.

The Centre's founder Carrie Humble MBE said: "This is the fulfilment of a
personal dream that will place the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre on a
firm footing for many years to come."

The TRC - the original charity in Europe for the rehabilitation of
racehorses - will now embark on a fund-raising appeal to finance the move.

The announcement came on the day that the Centre marked the 20th anniversary
of its oldest resident Hallo Dandy winning the Grand National - and also the
horse's 30th birthday.

It was also revealed that former Lancashire racehorse trainer Jack Berry
MBE - who sent out more than 1,500 winners in a 25-year career - is becoming
a trustee of the Centre.

Carrie Humble explained that the TRC had been looking for premises to buy
for the last four years.

"This puts us in the driving seat," she said. "This is the way in which the
charity will continue its work for many years. It will mean that we can
apply meaningfully for grants for capital improvements which will become
assets for the Centre.

"Although the new farm will cost £1 million to buy and convert we have
already received many promises of support from some of our 3,000 'Friends of
the TRC'. We were also fortunate in receiving two legacies last year which
will also contribute significantly to the purchase of the farm. However, to
make the dream a reality we still need to raise a substantial sum of money
and we hope that individuals and organisations associated with or interested
in the welfare of retired racehorses will help us to achieve our target.

"I'm also delighted that Jack Berry, one of the foremost trainers in the
north of England until his retirement five years ago, will be joining us.
His advice and enthusiasm will be of great value to us in the years ahead."

Anyone wishing to find out more about helping the TRC or how to contribute
to the appeal to buy the farm, should contact Carrie Humble on 01995 605007.

The TRC has been helping ex-racehorses in need for the past 11 years as the
first registered charity dedicated to the welfare of these exceptional
equines. The TRC's experience in this area is proven, and the centre
provides an environment of safety and experienced quality care where
ex-racehorses in need can be assessed and re-educated properly. These
horses are given time to relax and adjust before they are asked to rethink
their way of working. Horses that have been trained purely to race often
find this difficult, and the TRC makes this transition as pleasant and
productive as possible.

When a horse has reached a sensible, contented conversion it becomes
available for re-homing. Even then, the TRC horses remain their property
and are loaned out to people under specific conditions to protect the horse.
These loan homes are monitored for the rest of the horse's life.

ENDS 535 words

For further information:
Carrie Humble and her staff can be contacted at the Thoroughbred
Rehabilitation Centre at Poplar Grove Farm, Humblescough Lane, Nateby,
Lancashire PR3 0LL. Telephone: 01995 605007. Web site: Email:

22 March 2004


THE Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre is the brainchild of Carrie Humble,
its founder and director. Having worked in America for 17 years, variously
in theatre, the antique trade and animal welfare, Carrie returned to the UK
in 1988. Much of 1991 was spent working with a friend and her father
preparing his thoroughbred stock for the sales, and as a direct result of
going to these bloodstock sales and seeing the reality of what these horses
face when their racing days are over, Carrie conceived the idea of the TRC.

By 1993 Carrie had successfully applied for and been granted charitable
status for the TRC. She had enlisted the support of Sir Peter O'Sullevan as
one of the patrons, and Bernard Donigan, former equine superintendent with
the RSPCA, who became chair of the board of trustees.

After five years at Birkrigg Park Arabian Stud, near Kendal, where the TRC
had only seven boxes and five acres, the demand for the work was such that a
move to larger premises was vital. In November 1998 the centre moved to its
present location at the former livery stables at Poplar Grove Farm in Nateby
near Preston where the Centre leases 24 stables; 60 acres of land and an
outdoor manege. Since 1998 the TRC has added an indoor school; field
shelters; a round pen and three more stables.

The need for organisations like the TRC is as great now as it has ever been.
Some of the hundreds of horses leaving racing each year filter down through
other equestrian fields but many end up in the saleroom where there is no
control over their destination. This is where well-intentioned but
inexperienced buyers can find themselves with a bargain nightmare - a highly
strung, finely-tuned, race-trained blood equine, not the average rider's
ideal horse but the equivalent of a formula one racing car. Often unable to
ride their prized possession, the novice owner turns to supposed experts to
come and 'sort out' their problem. In unsympathetic hands, these horses can
become dangerous, are then branded as rogues and all too often the first
step in the cycle of neglect is taken.

For trainers, trying to balance the welfare of the horse against the demand
for competitive success is virtually impossible and whilst it is easy to
criticise owners and trainers, it is not always fair. The TRC has always
wanted to work from within racing and feels it is important to offer
solutions and alternatives to those owners and trainers who do care where
their charges end up. The TRC provides an environment of safety and
experienced, quality care where these horses can be re-educated and
converted for use in other equine fields. The horses are given time to
adjust and relax before they are asked to rethink their way of working.
Horses that have been trained purely to race often find this difficult and
the TRC makes this transition as pleasant and productive as possible. When
a horse has reached a sensible, contented conversion, it becomes available
for re-homing but even when the horse has been re-homed, it remains the
property of the TRC and is loaned out under very specific conditions to
ensure its lifelong welfare.

Although the TRC has now received some financial backing from the industry,
the organisation still has to raise the majority of its income from its own
fundraising efforts and the support of the horse-loving general public.



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