Our Story

Every year thousands of racehorses leave the sport due to injury, old age or a lack of ability. But retirement from racing does not have to mean the end. This was the conclusion Grace Muir reached whilst working as Stud Manager at North Farm Stud near Wantage in England.

The idea of HEROS Charity (Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme) began to take shape in the early 1990s, when owners and trainers asked Grace to rehome their racehorses. A large network of clients and many other people contact HEROS daily, as the word spreads. With a lifetime's experience of horses, knowledge and experience of racing, plus a range of excellent connections, Grace knew there was scope to give these horses a second chance of a new career. There are many opportunities for them such as eventing, dressage, polo, show-jumping, hacks, companions and more. Since she started rehoming racehorses, with the support of her parents Ian and Agnes Muir, Grace and her team have successfully rehomed more than 500 ex-racehorses.

Why HEROS Charity is special

Although there are other charities in this field, HEROS aims to occupy a special place by carefully matching horses to their new careers and owners across all the equestrian disciplines.

The charity prides itself on working hard to make sure that the match with a new owner is a good one and Grace is always on hand should any change of circumstance occur. Advice and ongoing support on all aspects of care and resettlement are only a phone call away.

HEROS Charity was granted charitable status in July 2006 with help from RoR (Retraining of Racehorses), British Horseracing's official charity for the welfare of former racehorses.

HEROS and North Farm Stud – INDEPENDENT CONCERNS

North Farm Stud has been steeped in the breeding, care and management of thoroughbreds for 84 years as a way of life for the Muir family. When Grace succeeded her father as Stud Manager HEROS was conceived, born and raised alongside.

Grace started young, working in racing for Kim Brassey, Jenny Pitman and others, both riding out and in the office.  She learned at first hand the enormous potential of thoroughbred horses to do useful work when their racing days are over. Grace had several ex-racehorses herself and setting up a charity to look after their welfare had been in her mind's eye for more than 20 years.

When Grace went home to work as the Stud Manager of North Farm Stud she started rehoming retired thoroughbreds privately. Trainers and owners who were customers of the stud asked her to find homes for their horses. Her success surprised her and resulted in the rehoming of hundreds of horses over the years. One thing led to another and with the support and encouragement of family and friends HEROS Charity was born in July 2006.

While it is true that HEROS could not have existed without the support of Mr and Mrs Muir, HEROS and North Farm Stud should never be thought of as anything other than totally seperate entities.

North Farm Stud is a commercial enterprise where mares are foaled, yearlings broken and prepared for sale. Horses (of all breeds) are rehabilitated post-injury and retrained and horses are also turned out for their summer/winter breaks. HEROS is a completely separate entity, which has the good fortune to operate from the North Farm Stud site.  It pays its rent and buys in expert services and raw materials from North Farm Stud. While, for obvious reasons, it enjoys the benefit of discounted charitable rates, it does its best to pay its monthly bills on time. North Farm Stud gains no financial benefit from HEROS; in fact it is quite the reverse.

People often seems to suffer from the misconception that HEROS Charity is part of North Farm Stud or vice versa.  This confusion is most unfortunate because it leads to a view that HEROS can survive without substantial charitable giving and sponsorship. Nothing could be further from the truth. North Farm Stud has absolutely no responsibility for HEROS.

To continue to do its good work of retraining and rehoming meaningful numbers of ex-racehorses HEROS needs constant help and support to generate sufficient funds. While the support it receives from RoR is invaluable, much more is needed from all interested parties from both inside and outside of the racing community. 

With the right backing HEROS can grow from its strong foundations. Everybody agrees that more needs to be done to ensure a New Life After Racing for thoroughbreds leaving the industry, and HEROS is more than capable and willing to do it.  As an independent charity standing on its own feet it needs all the help and support you can give. Thank you.

 

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© 2019 HEROS. Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme - Charity Number: 1115174