Imagine if there was some software that allowed racing authorities to know when, where and what a retired thoroughbred was doing in their new life as an Off-The-Track (OTT) sport horse? Well imagine no longer.
Equestrian Victoria headed up by CEO Matthew Brown, along with Racing Victoria and Racing Australia has done just that with its push to create an API (an Application Programming Interface) collating that very information.
The data includes the name of the horse’s sire, dam, the breeder, the total number of starts the horse had, their lifetime earnings and the date and place of their last start.
The information will also detail the galloper’s retirement date, microchip number, any brands and markings and date of birth.
This service, said Brown, is being designed to make it much easier to identify off-the-track horses when they are registering for events and eliminate manual checking, lessening the chance of human error.
As he explained: “We are trying to catch some meaningful data that hasn’t been possible previously, from Equestrian Victoria and reporting back not only to Racing Australia but also Racing Victoria and other stakeholder groups about the numbers of off-the-track thoroughbreds that are in our system and what they are doing.
“It gives the ability to follow the thoroughbred in their career after racing. There are so many terrific stories out there about great racehorses and others who have gone on to great careers in equestrian sport or sport horse pursuits.”
Brown said another driver for establishing the system was to celebrate the thoroughbred in all its guises, not just at the racetrack.
He acknowledges that last year’s ABC story on horses being inhumanely killed in a slaughterhouse in Queensland left a stain on the equestrian world and that is why all horse sports have to work to remind people that the overwhelming majority of horses are treated well and appreciated throughout their various careers.