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Retired racehorses heading to stud

PUBLISHED: 08:05 12 January 2007 | UPDATED: 17:37 25 February 2010

SOME of the country's most famous former racehorses will be retrained at the world renowned Suffolk Punch stud onto a second career.

The Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) charity announced yesterdaythat it had made a substantial investment into the stud at Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

SOME of the country's most famous former racehorses will be retrained at the world renowned Suffolk Punch stud onto a second career.

The Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) charity announced yesterdaythat it had made a substantial investment into the stud at Hollesley, near Woodbridge.

The charity is bringing ex-racehorses to Hollesley where they will recuperate before taking on another career in the equestrian world.

The charity's chairman is Andrew Parker Bowles, first husband of the Duchess of Cornwall. He has visited the stud, which is the focal point for a proposed new £4million visitor attraction, and is said to be very interested in what is happening to former racehorses and the Suffolk Punch breed.

The involvement of the RoR will enhance the reputation of the Suffolk Punch Trust as it embarks on a major redevelopment of the stud, formerly owned by the Prison Service.

Plans include a lecture theatre, restaurant and offices, the expansion of the stud with facilities to take in breeders' mares for the trust's stallions, and the maintenance of the flock of Suffolk sheep.

Di Arbuthnot, director of operations at the RoR, said: ''We heard the land and the facilities were available and we wanted to use them for the rest and rehabilitation for thoroughbreds before they could be retrained for other jobs.

''We are dealing with horses that need from six to nine months before they can go onto other jobs and this is the first time we have worked with a prison - they will be looked after by the inmates from the prison who will be working towards a NVQ qualification.

''This is a year's trial but it is working very well at the moment and I think we can all assume that as things stand I do not envisage a problem with it carrying on.''

The charity was given a £2.4million bequest in 2002 and it was stipulated that nearly £350,000 was to be used for capital projects to help the RoR consider a range of different initiatives to help racehorses move on to a satisfactory second career once their racing days were over.

The organisation was launched in 2000 by the British Horseracing Board after the racing industry admitted that the welfare of racehorses after their racing days were over needed to be improved.

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