Lady patting a horse

New operating framework to govern RV Acknowledged Retrainers

Since 2012 Racing Victoria’s (RV) Acknowledged Retrainers have played an integral role alongside trainers and owners to rehome hundreds of racehorses retiring from Victorian racing each year.

The importance of the Acknowledged Retrainer Program to the industry is highlighted by the 20 per cent growth in the number of retired racehorses transitioning through its network since the introduction of the Acknowledged Retrainer Capacity Grant Program in 2020 to boost the capabilities of Retrainers to take on more retired racehorses.

With close to 50 Acknowledged Retrainers working across the state, they are now helping rehoming on average 600 racehorses each year – playing a crucial role in the delivery of RV’s post-racing programs such as RESET, which provides funded retraining for those horses that have struggled to transition to their perfect second careers.

As part of RV’s review of the Acknowledged Retrainer program, important learnings have been formed to ensure the program continues to meet the needs and requirements of thoroughbreds retiring from racing in Victoria.

The review highlighted a more structured approach by RV was necessary to support the Acknowledged Retrainers and enable them to expand their businesses to take on more horses.

As a result, RV have developed new terms and conditions that oversee those currently operating as or wishing to be an Acknowledged Retrainer in the future.

The new operating framework is aimed at supporting the successful transition of retired racehorses to second careers and is underpinned by five principal objectives:

  • Ensure good equine welfare through establishing a minimum standard for property and horse management; 
  • Ensure accurate and timely records and history of horses being retrained through the Program; 
  • Ensure a minimum standard of process for horse sales and rehoming, safety net and end of life management;
  • Ensure a minimum standard of professionalism in relation to employment law and debt management; and
  • Ensure Retrainers reflect the ethos of the Program at all times when representing the brand (inclusive of online, at events or competitions and when in discussions with potential buyers) and act as good RV ambassadors within the wider community.
  • This new framework will build on the decade long work of many experienced Acknowledged Retrainers to provide clear minimum standards, obligations and the benefits of being an RV Acknowledged Retrainer.

The new terms and conditions will also ensure that those utilising an RV Acknowledged Retrainer have complete faith in their ability to care, retrain and rehome their horses to the appropriate second career.

With a growing network of Acknowledged Retrainers across Victoria who specialise in re-educating retired racehorses for equestrian purposes, therapy, and other non-competitive pursuits, owners and trainers can visit the Off The Track Community to search for a retrainer that meets their needs.

If you have any questions about the RV Acknowledged Retrainer program or the updated operating framework, please contact RV’s Off The Track team on 03 9258 4258 or