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RESTART Racehorse Aftercare Programme

Striding on together - the HKJC and equestrian sport share the same spirit of partnership and commitment to excellence.

The RESTART Retired Racehorse Programme

The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s RESTART Racehorse Aftercare Programme reflects the Club’s commitment to racehorses beyond their competitive racing years. The programme encompasses the Club’s longstanding Retired Racehorse Retraining Programme and new initiatives dedicated to former Hong Kong horses now residing overseas.

The RESTART Retired Racehorse Programme

The Programme has been in operation since 1964 when Beas River Equestrian Centre (BREC) was established as a home for retired horses. The programme has expanded and now includes a Retired Horse Unit (RHU) at the Club's Conghua Racecourse, which opened in 2020, alongside the original Retraining Unit (RTU) based at BREC.

Retired Horse Unit

The RESTART Retired Racehorse Programme

Location: Conghua, Guangzhou, China
Maximum Number of Retired Horses: 60
Facilities: Spelling (turn out) yards, horse walkers, equine swimming pools, veterinary hospital and equine therapy centre.

Retraining Unit

Retired Horse Unit

Location: New Territories, Hong Kong SAR
Maximum Number of Retired Horses: 80
Facilities: 5 paddocks (arenas), 2 lunge pens, horse walkers, outdoor riding track, cross-country course, hacking trail, spelling (turn out) yards, rolling boxes, veterinary station, farrier workshop.

When a racehorse retires in Hong Kong, they may be exported overseas by their racing owner or they may remain in Hong Kong to be retrained for their second career. The Club's Retraining Programme is uniquely funded by an import fee paid by owners on arrival of a new horse in HK, along with additional funding provided by the Club. The facilities at both retired horse locations aid a varied and diverse training programme with the goal of producing well-rounded, relaxed horses that can continue their training and education in a new career once the initial retraining phase is completed. The process is ably supported by the experienced Retraining Unit Team.

Come on Wongchoy winning at Happy Valley Racecourse (left) is now established dressage, show jumping and eventing competition horse. He raced 21 times over 3 seasons winning HK$872,850.

Liuzhou Warrior raced 7 times over 2 seasons winning HK$40,775. He is now part of the BREC Pool of competition horses, competing in show jumping in classes up to 1.20m.

Cape the Faith won HK$96,600 across 3 seasons in his 21 race career in racing. He is part of the BREC riding school and also competes at dressage, show jumping and eventing competitions

The Retired Horse's Journey

Each retired horse's journey towards their second career will be unique but always has the welfare of each horse as the priority. The journey is based on multiple factors such as medical history, physical maturity and strength, experience, temperament and trainability, but broadly follows the process below.

On Retirement

The first step in each horse's transition from racehorse to their second career is an assessment by a member of the veterinary team at Sha Tin or Conghua. This ensures the horse is suitable to enter retraining and for horses who have retired due to injury, an individualised rehabilitation plan is developed.


Initially, a retired horse will transfer to the Retired Horse Unit (RHU) at the Club's training facility in Conghua for a period of downtime before they start their retraining journey. The RHU has access to a variety of facilities and activities such as swimming, walker exercise, turn out (spelling) and they may start some basic ground work, such as lunging. Horses undergoing rehabilitation will have a tailored programme for their injury type and may spend time in the Equine Therapy Unit undergoing chilled spa, laser or water treadmill sessions to best aid their recovery.

Transfer to RTU

The transition period in RHU allows horses to adapt to new routines, feeding regimens and stable management. When the experienced care team and the vets assess the horse as ready to start the retraining process, the horse is transferred to the Retraining Unit (RTU) located within the Club's National Equestrian Centre in Hong Kong, Beas River. The amount of time spent in RHU is individual to each horse, but ranges from a few weeks to several months.

The Retraining Process

On arrival at RTU each horse is assessed by the vet and a structured training programme is created according to their health and temperament. The process starts with ground work and progresses slowly to full ridden work including hacking, flatwork and a gentle introduction to jumping. The veterinary team regularly assess each horses and training programs are adapted when necessary.

Next Steps

Alongside veterinary assessments, horses have a ridden assessment in front of an experienced panel. Using rider feedback, the panel facilitates the best possible rehoming outcome for each horse. The horse will then start their specific training for that career in their new home. The aim is to have each horse in the best possible role for their individual history, trainability and talents.

Second Career Options

There are a number of second career options available to horses that graduate from the Retired Racehorse Programme. Some of the options are detailed below:

Racing Talent Training Centre

Horses are used as part of the comprehensive training programme for individuals who wish to join the racing industry.

Riding School

Hong Kong riding schools all have a population of retired racehorses that are used for lessons across a range of experience levels. A riding school could have up to 50% retired racehorses within its population; a unique feature of Hong Kong riding schools.


Horses are offered on loan to members of Beas River Equestrian Centre to take on as their own livery horse.

Competition Horse (Pool)

Horses showing talent and potential enter a training programme with the goal of becoming a competition horse. Once established, these horses are often competed by junior and young rider team riders to gain competition experience.

Hong Kong Equestrian Team Horse

Horses showing exceptional talent and potential may be exported abroad to be produced by Club sponsored elite riders with the goal of becoming a team horse in the future.

Lead Pony

All Lead Ponies in HK are retired racehorses and are typically grey. They play an essential role in day to day and race day operations as companions for horses at morning track work and to lead racehorses to the starting gates on trial and race days.

Export Overseas

Horses that are unsuitable for rehoming in Hong Kong are considered for export overseas. Facilities such as Event Stars in NZ, have collaborated with the Club in rehoming retired Hong Kong racehorses since 2014.

Taking a Horse on Livery

The Hong Kong Jockey Club members have the opportunity to apply for horses that have graduated from the retraining programme and take them on loan as a livery horse. When suitable horses are available, they are advertised with a brief description of their character both in and out of the stable, way of going and suggestions for their ideal type of rider. Each application is carefully considered against the horse’s temperament and education level so potential livery owners can be matched with their best possible equine partner. Please click here for more information the Livery Programme.

Racehorse Owner Equestrian Livery

According to the Horse Ballot Bye-laws, on the retirement of a racehorse from racing, if an owner does not wish to export their horse out of Hong Kong ownership is relinquished to the Club. If a retired racehorse is deemed suitable for the retraining programme, the racing owner will be given priority to take their horse on livery at BREC once retraining is completed successfully and if the racehorse owner is assessed as a suitable match for the horse.

Please contact the Administration Office for further information.

Overseas Initiatives

The Club is working with overseas jurisdictions so that RESTART can be a supporter of dedicated retired racehorse competitions, aiming to showcase the wonderful achievements of the versatile horses that once spent time on the turf in Hong Kong. Additionally, RESTART is developing relationships with overseas racing jurisdictions and aftercare providers to establish clear communication channels for tracking and tracing of retired racehorses and provides a network of facilities to transition horses to second careers or retirement. The Club is also able to action their Emergency Welfare Protocol for horses requiring assistance with the aid of local governing bodies and jurisdictions. If you wish to share your story of your own former Hong Kong horse in their second career, or have a concern about a horse displaying the Hong Kong brand, please contact restart@hkjc.org.hk.