Policies and Information
Racing SA supports the welfare and promotion of thoroughbred horses before, during and after their racing careers.
For all welfare enquries please contact -
Racing SA’s Equine Welfare Framework
Why do we need an Equine Welfare Framework? To show that we are committed to living our values; that it all starts with the horse, that we are meeting the expectations of the community, can stand incomparison with similar PRAs around Australia, and world’s best practice.
Racing SA is the peak body representing the thoroughbred horseracing community in South Australia. Bound by a common principle, we govern, promote and support thoroughbred racing in the State.
The horse is at the heart of everything we do in South Australian thoroughbred racing and it always has been. The welfare of our participants – our animals and our people – is an absolute priority.
This Thorough Care SA Framework outlines our ongoing commitment to build on the work of those in the racing community by continually evolving and improving practices focused on the welfare of thoroughbreds before, during and after their racing careers.
Statement of Intent
As the peak body representing the thoroughbred horseracing community in South Australia, we will:
- Support the welfare and promotion of thoroughbred horses before, during and after their racing careers;
- Work to grow understanding and awareness among the wider thoroughbred racing community of best-practice equine welfare, communicate our mission, goals and achievements in equine welfare to external stakeholders and general public;
- Increase transparency of equine welfare practices within the thoroughbred racing industry; and
- Position the South Australian thoroughbred racing industry as being committed to equine welfare best practice.
Click here to view Racing SA's Minimum Standards & Guidelines of Equine Welfare.
Further detail about the activities undertaken by Racing SA Stewards to ensure equine welfare best practice, can be found here:
To complement the work of the Stewards’ Department, Racing SA has in place a range of policies and protocols designed to increase compliance with equine welfare best practices. It has also identified a number of strategic imperatives to ensure continued improvement and an ongoing focus on participant welfare.
- A Hot Weather Policy is in place to protect the welfare of horses racing at all South Australian racecourses and training venues during hot weather. The full policy can be viewed here.
- A Lightning Safety Protocol is in place to protect the welfare of participants in horse racing at all South Australian racecourses and training venues during potential lightning events. The full protocol can be viewed here.
- The testing strategies and sampling regime implemented by the Stewards’ Department continue to be a critical element in protecting the health and welfare of horses, the safety of riders, providing a level playing field for all participants, and maintaining the confidence of the betting public and the broader community
- For the past three years, Racing SA has tested an average of 2,855 horse samples for banned substances each year. The rate of banned substance detection remains consistently low, with an average of 0.19% of tested samples returning a positive result over the corresponding period.
- Over the same period, Racing SA tested an average of 292 riders (urine and/ or breathalyser) for banned substances each year, with 2.3% of tested samples returning a positive result.
While the rate of fatalities in flat racing is low, Thorough Care SA remains committed to reducing the incidence of horse deaths attributable to racing incidents.
Racing SA Stewards conduct a range of activities designed to assess the health and fitness of thoroughbreds for racing to help prevent catastrophic limb injuries and reduce the rate of raceday fatalities.
Ensuring compliance with these established best practices, including conducting barrier trials and attending trackwork, continues to be a focus for the Stewards’ Department moving forward as Racing SA strives to make racing safer for all participants.
The appointment of an Industry Racecourse Manager is another example of Thorough Care SA committing to equine welfare best practice by ensuring optimal racing surfaces can be achieved at a consistently high level across racing clubs.