QOTT Grants Program boosts support for retired racehorses

01 June 2023 | RQ Media

Applications are now open for the 2023 Queensland Off-The-Track Grants Program, with up to $550,000 on offer across five alternate initiatives. 

The QOTT Grants Program will again be available to support not-for-profit organisations and charities that provide a lifelong safety net for retired racehorses across the state. 

Successful applicants will be able to use funding to provide equine rehabilitation services for retired racehorses that have previously transitioned from the racing industry into the domestic horse community.

The grants support retired racehorses that have become vulnerable or at risk at later stages of their lives, and require veterinary treatment and/or professional retraining services to assist with their placement into suitable, long-term homes.

The QOTT Grants Program also provides funding to not-for-profit organisations and charities that utilise retired racehorses as therapy aids to provide professional therapy or rehabilitation programs to community groups or individual persons. 

This includes people with disabilities, disadvantaged children, youth and adults, aged care, war veterans or other community support services. 

For the first time, new grant categories will be available to support businesses, including horse/trail riding services, equine colleges, equine therapy centres and farm stays, to bolster the opportunities afforded to retired horses.

The introduction of a grant for equine-related businesses is designed to help grow the number of retired racehorses being utilised by these organisations, and to explore new non-competitive avenues for the horses to enjoy a second career.

Racing Minister Grace Grace said the QOTT Grants Program is an important initiative to maximise the opportunities afforded to retired racehorses once they leave the racing industry. 

“Grass roots community organisations and businesses that make a significant impact on the wellbeing of retired racehorses will benefit from these grants, with funding awarded to support them to continue their retired racehorse welfare initiatives,” Minister Grace said. 

“The QOTT Grants Program collectively helps to improve outcomes for retired racehorses while supporting the growth of equine operators in Queensland.” 

 Additionally, QOTT has announced a grant for its network of Acknowledged Retrainers, who play a critical role in retired racehorses transitioning to new homes.

Grant funding will help retrainers boost their capacity to transition more racehorses to second careers, enhance the quality of the state’s acknowledged retrainer network, and assist in a variety of resourcing and infrastructure projects to help retrainers expand their operations or upgrade their facilities. 

QOTT Board Chair Dr Christine Johnson said the introduction of the grant is an important step to safeguard and improve the retrainer network in Queensland. 

“As retrainers are often reliant on the re-sale of the horses they train or a second job to sustain their business, it is critical to provide financial support to support the expansion of their operations,” Dr Johnson said.  

“This will create greater capacity for QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers to retrain and rehome more horses, ensuring that thoroughbreds and standardbreds have the opportunity to find second careers once they retire from racing or breeding activities.” 

In 2022, the first round of grant funding supported seven not-for-profit organisations and charities by contributing more than $100,000 towards maximising aftercare outcomes. 

The QOTT Grants Program complements the various post-racing initiatives introduced by QOTT over the past 18 months, including the Subsidised Lessons Program, Acknowledged Retrainers Program, Event Sponsorship Program, QOTT Clubhouse and the new OTT Owner Welcome Pack. 

Applications from eligible organisations are now open, and close at 5pm Friday, June 9 2023.

Click here for more information on the QOTT Grants Program, including guidelines and application criteria.


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