Reinstatement from Retirement

As per Australian Rule of Racing AR 297(1), when a decision has been made to retire an Eligible Horse, the manager or authorised agent must notify Racing Australia within 7 days of that decision by updating the stable return or lodge the relevant retirement form prescribed by Racing Australia.

Where a form has been lodged according to AR 297(1) to retire a horse that horse ceases to be eligible to race or be trained and is ineligible to race or be trained unless it is reinstated to race or to be trained [AR 297(2)].

A retired horse may not be reinstated to be trained or to race except with the express permission of the Stewards [AR 297 (3)].

The Stewards of the relevant Principal Racing Authority must grant this permission before the horse returns to a licensed premise.

Any person who fails to comply with AR 297(1) commits a breach of the Rules and may be penalised.

The process for Reinstatement of a Retired Racehorse

The reinstatement of a retired horse to be trained and race requires the express prior permission of the Stewards. This permission for reinstatement should be obtained before the retired horse enters a trainer’s premises.

To seek permission of the Stewards to reinstate a retired horse, a trainer must satisfy AR 297(4) and:

  1. Complete and submit the Application for Reinstatement - Retired Racehorses Form A (see below); and
  2. Submit the Veterinary Certificate for Application for Reinstatement - Retired Racehorses Form B (see below) to be completed by the trainer’s private registered veterinary practitioner.

The veterinary examination must reference the specific reasons for retirement and an assessment of the horse’s suitability to return to training and racing in light of the reasons for retirement.

Once submitted, FORM A and B will be considered by RV Veterinary Services and further examinations and or tests may be requested. Consideration of the horse’s welfare in resuming training and racing will be a major factor in assessing the application. Please allow a minimum of 10 business days for the approval process.

Only the PRA or Stewards hold authority for approval to reinstate the horse [AR297(3)].

Applications to have a horse reinstated should be submitted prior to or immediately upon the horse entering the stable.

Trainers are reminded that a stable return must be lodged immediately a horse joins their stable [AR 296 (2)(b)]. Any person who fails to comply with AR 296 commits a breach of the Rules and may be penalised.

Official trial or Jump-Out must be completed before nomination to race

The reinstated horse must not, without prior permission of the Stewards, be entered for or be permitted to run in any official trial or race for at least 28 days after the date of reinstatement (LR 28).

When a horse has the approval of Stewards to be reinstated to train the horse must compete satisfactorily in an Official Trial or Jump-Out and the trainer must submit a satisfactory Veterinary Clearance to Race (based on an examination after the Official Trial or Jump-Out) prior to gaining approval to race.

If a trainer wishes to run the reinstated horse in its Official Trial within 28 days of the date of reinstatement, then the trainer must seek permission of the Stewards before nominating the horse for the Official Trial or Jump-Out.

It is highly unlikely that a horse will gain sufficient fitness to undertake an Official Trial or Jump-Out within 28 days of reinstatement from retirement and recommencing training.

Additional Information

  • RV will not consider applications for reinstatement from:

    • Retired horses that have not had a race start by the age of 5 years
      • RV has identified that any horse/s aged 5 years and above and have not had a previous race start are at increased risk of injury.
      • Statistical analysis has identified that is group of horses have not had a race start by 5 years of age, to be at approximately 4.4 times the risk of catastrophic limb injury during racing compared to a horse that has competed in a race prior to the time it turns 5 years of age.

    • Retired horses that have had more than two tendon or ligament injuries
      • The high incidence of re-injury of a tendon or ligament or injury to the contralateral limb is well recognized.
      • Studies have demonstrated that 53-66% of flat racing horse's that have sustained a tendon or ligament injury will re-injure the damaged tendon or ligament and or suffer an injury to another similar structure in that or another limb.

For further information regarding reinstatement of a retired horse please contact the Stewards at Racing Victoria on 03 9258 4258 or by email