Frequently Asked Questions

This page has been designed to answer some of the questions we a frequently asked.

What is HEROS all about?

Every year thousands of racehorses leave racing due to injury, old age or a lack of ability. But retirement from racing does not have to mean the end of a useful life. This was the conclusion Grace Muir reached whilst working as Stud Manager at North Farm Stud near Wantage in Berkshire. Building on a lifetime’s experience of horses, her knowledge and experience of racing, plus a range of excellent contacts, Grace established HEROS as a charity in 2006. Grace now leads a team focused on giving thoroughbred ex-racehorses a second chance – perhaps in eventing, dressage, polo, show-jumping, as hacks, or as companions: living proof that the stereotype of the racehorse as a near-wild, highly strung, un-trainable animal is as far wrong as it could be. This was a stereotype that Monsignor was happy to bust at Ascot on Saturday as he went on to be patted and have his whiskers pulled by children and adult race-goers alike.


What makes HEROS special?

Retraining of Racehorses – the RoR – British horseracing’s official charity supports several organisations concerned with re-homing ex-racehorses. But at HEROS we believe we occupy a special place because horses are expertly matched, not only to their new careers but to their new owners. The Charity prides itself on working hard to make sure that the match is a good one. We work across all the equestrian disciplines and we believe that our approach cannot be bettered on grounds of quality, cost or volume. Furthermore, once a match is found, Grace and her team are always on hand to troubleshoot problems or to help out should a change of circumstances occur. Advice and ongoing support on all aspects of care and resettlement are only a phone call away.


HEROS as a charity?

HEROS was granted charitable status in July 2006 with help from RoR (Retraining of Racehorses), British Horseracing's official charity for the welfare of ex-racehorses. We survive on the basis of funds allocated by the RoR, and donations from sponsors and wellwishers. Every penny donated by individuals is spent on the horses, not on overheads.


How long does re-homing take?

Much depends on the horse, the new owner, and the discipline or activity they plan to undertake. Some horses have been re-homed in under one month; others may take three to six months, or longer. When ex-racehorses first come to HEROS we give them a period of rest and play in the field. They need a bit time to get racing out of their minds, and it takes some time for us to understand their abilities and needs.


What happens when a horse arrives?

Ex-racehorses are never turned out in large groups when they first arrive because they need time to get to know one another and understand `the pecking order’ in the field. Attention from the vet and farrier is provided, as needed, and their feeding regime is gradually changed from the high-protein energy-rich diet normally used to support race training to a diet more suited to normal work. At HEROS we feed our own oat-based mix with balanced mineral supplements – the same feed that has been used at our stud farm over many years. Once settled, horses may hack out, do some schooling, and/or they may spend some time on the horse walker.


What activities do ex-racehorses get involved in?

Take a look at the horses available to see the different types of horses that we typically take for re-homing. You can read testimonials from people who have taken ownership or long-term loan of ex-racehorses for the other equestrian sports such as polo, eventing, showjumping and dressage as well as for hacking, or as companion horses by visiting HEROS Horsespace

How many horses does HEROS help?

Over 500 ex-racehorses have now been successfully re-trained and re-homed over the years that Grace Muir has worked at North Farm stud and as Chief Executive of HEROS. We currently aim to re-home about 100 horses every year but with more funds, we could help many more.


Where does HEROS get its money from?

The charity depends on the generosity of race-goers, owners, patrons and a grant from the RoR to survive. Last year, significant sponsorship was also provided by Sportingbet. But in the current economic climate it is increasingly difficult to secure funding and we desperately need more. Making a donation is easy . Any donation, however small, is much needed and is very welcome. You can also be sure that your money goes directly to the care of horses and not into overheads. MAKE A DONATION CLICK HERE


How can I get involved?

There are lots of ways you can learn more and get involved in HEROS. Club membership, volunteering, social events, open days, events, sales of kit, and shows are amongst the activities we organise each year. For example, in 2012, Monsignor is visiting a number of racecourses for the important racedays that make up the QIPCO British Champions Series. Why not go racing and bring him a Polo?


How do potential owners get involved?

Anyone interested to provide a home and/or a new career for an ex-racehorse can look at the HEROS website. Many people also learn about the work we do via the Rehoming of Racehorses website On the HEROS website, there is opportunity to learn more about the work of the charity, our activities and events, the people (the chair, chief executive, board of trustees, patrons and club members) and the horses that are currently available.


Do I have to be an expert rider?

If you are an expert rider, then you will be aware that thoroughbred ex-racehorses are making their mark as serious competitors in various disciplines including polo, showjumping, dressage and eventing. But if you are a `happy hacker’ or if you simply enjoy to be around horses and would like to offer one a home, we can still find you the right match. At HEROS we are proud of the support we offer to horses as well as to riders at all levels before and after the match is made. This ensures maximum attention to safety and it ensures that the relationship is supported in the long term. For example, if circumstances change, we will continue to back you up and provide support.


North Farm Stud
Swallow's Nest
HEROS Montage

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