Guidelines for Racehorses with Tendon or Ligament Injuries

Updated: 1 August 2022
Issued: January 2015


Racing Victoria is committed to protecting the welfare, integrity and interests of all of its racehorses and industry participants.

To ensure best practice in horse management, safeguard the welfare of the horse and rider, and maintain industry integrity and safety for all participants the following guidelines must be adhered to in relation to horses with a tendon or ligament injury:

1. The trainer or managing owner must advise the Stewards when any horse in their charge sustains any injury (including tendon or ligament injuries) during its training (AR 104). This includes during breaking-in, pre-training, beach work, trialling, jump-outs and racing.

2. For the horse to resume racing after a period of rehabilitation, a veterinary clearance will need to be provided stipulating the nature of the injury, including copies of any ultrasound, CT, MRI or scintigraphy images, the nature of treatment (for example Stem Cell Injection, Hyperbaric therapy, paddock rest), and the duration of rehabilitation for the horse.

These details must be included in an APPLICATION TO RACE A HORSE AFTER A TENDON OR LIGAMENT INJURY FORM. All details must be completed for RV Veterinary Services to provide advice to the Stewards about the suitability of the horse to resume racing.

3. If the same horse re-injures or sustains another tendon or ligament injury upon its return to racing it is strongly recommended that the horse be considered for  retirement in the interest of its welfare and that of any track work rider or jockey that may be riding the horse if it was to resume training.

4. If the horse sustains a tendon or ligament injury for a third time it will be permanently retired.

5. If the horse has been retired from racing due to tendon or ligament injuries RV strongly advises to include a clause in the Contract of Sale (if the horse is to be sold on to another party) stipulating that this horse is being sold on the condition that it is not to race again.

This will prevent third parties applying to reinstate retired racehorses with such injuries as they pose an increased risk to both horse and rider.

If you have any questions, please contact racing Victoria Veterinary Services on email: