Owning and caring for a Standardbred can be a source of great enjoyment but is also a big responsibility with a long-term caring and financial commitment.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (“the Act”) requires you to ensure that any horse, pony, donkey or mule for which you are responsible, whether on a permanent or a temporary basis:

      • has a suitable environment to live in
      • has a healthy diet
      • is able to behave normally
      • has appropriate company
      • is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

As a horse owner or keeper, it is your responsibility to uphold the welfare of horses you own or have in your care, and to ensure they are not subjected to abuse, neglect or mistreatment.

The Standardbred & Trotting Horse Association of GBI (STAGBI) is committed to:

      • Upholding the welfare of horses, as a primary consideration in all activities
      • Requiring that horses be treated with kindness, respect and the compassion they deserve, and that they never be subjected to mistreatment
      • Ensuring that owners and keepers use responsible care in the handling, treatment and transportation of their horses, as well as horses placed in their care for any purpose
      • Providing for the continuous well-being of horses by encouraging routine inspection and consultation with health care professionals and competition/industry officials to achieve the highest possible standards of nutrition, health, comfort, sanitation and safety a matter of standard operating procedure
      • Continuing to support scientific studies on equine health and welfare
      • Increasing education, regarding horsemanship and breeding practices
      • Requiring owners and keepers to know and follow their organisations rules and regulations in all equine activities and businesses
      • Reviewing, revising and developing rules and regulations that protect the welfare of horses

The standard by which conduct or treatment will be measured is that which a reasonable person, informed and experienced in generally accepted equine practices, would determine to be cruel, abusive or inhumane.

STAGBI is dedicated to the humane treatment and welfare of horses. The cruel, abusive or inhumane treatment of a horse by any owner or keeper or other person must not be tolerated anywhere, under any circumstances.

STAGBI endorses the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and their Hybrids  as recommended by UK Government


WELFARE: Joint Statement from STAGBI, BHRC and WBCRA issued Sept 2020

STAGBI, BHRC and WBCRA wish to remind members and all industry participants about their responsibilities regarding the welfare of the horses in their care.

As a breed society and racing organisations, we must endeavour to make sure that every Standardbred has a respectable standard of care regardless of their ability as a racehorse. All horses must be treated with compassion and respect from the day they are born, through to their racing careers, to breeding, retirement and beyond.

Our organisations expect all their respective members to uphold the highest possible standard of welfare for the horses in their care and will work together with equine charities and welfare organisations in cases where there are issues regarding the welfare of Standardbreds.

Members are also be reminded that the practice of racing horses on the public highway is a welfare issue and has a detrimental effect on the image portrayed of the Standardbred horse and of harness racing. Racing of horses on the public highway contravenes BHRC rules and is against the law and therefore a criminal offence. STAGBI, BHRC and WBCRA will cooperate fully with local authorities, welfare organisations, highways agencies and/or police forces in their efforts to eradicate this practice.


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