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France Galop and Au-Dela Des Pistes sign partnership agreement for the retraining of racehorses


France Galop and Au-Dela Des Pistes sign partnership agreement for the retraining of racehorses

In France

In addition to its historic partnership with the Ligue Française de Protection du Cheval, the charity Au-Dela Des Pistes has to become a partner with France Galop, the governing body of thoroughbred racing in France, to work together on its mission to promote and encourage the retraining of racehorses.

The two entities recently signed an agreement with the objective of structuring and professionalising the management of the retraining of racehorses to significantly increase the number that benefit from a “second life” under the best conditions. A sum of €350,000 will be allocated to this.

Where does the €350,000 come from?

A total of €250 000 will be deducted from the prize money distributed each year – i.e. 1,1000th of the total amount. This amount indirectly involves all the members of France Galop who receive racing winnings: owners, trainers, breeders and jockeys. It is then supplemented by a lump sum of €50,000 from France Galop’s own funds.

In addition, a voluntary contribution by which owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys can choose to donate 1/1000th of their earnings directly to the Ligue Française de Protection du Cheval remains in place. This represents an amount of between €50,000 and €60,000 each year.

In total, €350,000 has been allocated to support the retraining of racehorses for 2019, which will be distributed through the Ligue Française de Protection du Cheval and Au-Delà Des Pistes.

How are these amounts allocated to the Ligue Française de Protection du Cheval distributed? 

A partner with France Galop since 2007, the Ligue Française de Protection du Cheval (LFPC) places the retired racehorses entrusted to it with “hosts” and pays them a daily upkeep. This system has enabled several hundred horses retired from racing for health problems to find a “foster family”. Currently, about 70 ex-racehorses are in the care of establishments that are members of the CPSA. However, the funding model from this partnership has shown its limitations and the capacity to support the network has reached saturation point. The partnership with Au-Dela Des Pistes is therefore intended to take a new step forward in terms of the number of horses cared for.

What is Au-Dela Des Pistes?

 This non-profit association was created in 2016 by breeders and racehorse owners. Today, it brings together more than 300 members with three main objectives :

  • Raise awareness among thoroughbred racing professionals about retraining horses for a second career;
  • Promote the value of retrained racehorses to the equestrian world in order to encourage the demand for these horses, that are traditionally considered difficult;
  • Establish and control a national network of approved establishments (17 to date) to carry out the

retraining of race horses in accordance with the quality and traceability criteria defined by the association.

Au-Delà Des Pistes manages the entire placement of horses in these establishments, from the collection of information on horses leaving training to the execution of administrative formalities for the transfer of ownership, including transport and traceability monitoring.

The association also organises events throughout the year to promote the adaptability of retrained racehorses: the “Au-Dela Des Pistes Trophies”, a circuit of amateur show-jumping competitions reserved for former racehorses; the “Retraining of Racehorses Days”, which highlight ex-racehorses in their new lives during the major days of racing; demonstrations by retrained thoroughbreds at the Salon du Cheval or as part of other major equestrian events, etc.

How   are   the   sums   allocated   to   Au-Dela   Des   Pistes   by   France   Galop distributed?

 Each horse taken in by an establishment listed by Au-Delà Des Pistes, which cannot immediately be retrained, receives a flat-rate assistance of €300 as a contribution to its convalescence expenses. In addition, for each injured horse placed in an establishment in its network, Au-Dela Des Pistes receives €120 from France Galop as a contribution towards the operating costs of the network (listing and control of reconversion establishments, completion of administrative formalities, monitoring of horses placed, etc.).

Finally, an Emergency Fund of €30,000 is provided each year to meet the needs of the most vulnerable horses (defaulting owners, serious injuries, etc.).

How is the placement of horses controlled by Au-Dela Des Pistes ?

 To be referenced in the Au-Dela Des Pistes directory, retraining establishments are subject to an inspection visit to ensure that they have the necessary infrastructure, skills and resources.

The agreement from Au-Dela Des Pistes is issued for a period of one year and its renewal is subject to a new inspection visit.

When they leave training, retired race horses are offered by Au-Dela Des Pistes to all member establishments of the network and are given to them for a symbolic €1.

At the end of a possible convalescence period, they follow a course of retraining aimed at instilling in them the basics of “classic” riding and desensitising them to a number of external factors. After a few weeks or months, depending on the profile and temperament of each horse, they become mounts that are perfectly adapted for amateur riders and are sold to private individuals under a contract supervised by Au-Dela Des Pistes.

Au-Dela Des Pistes also ensures that the transfers of ex-racehorses to these establishments are governed by a contract, and supervises the execution of the administrative formalities for the transfer of ownership, so as to prohibit the use or sale of placed horses for slaughter .

Finally, the association coordinates the transport of horses to the reception facilities and ensures that a follow- up is carried out at the end of their resale to private individuals.

Aliette Forien, President Au-Dela Des Pistes, commented :

“We are delighted that France Galop recognises the importance of the retraining of racehorses for the future of the equestrian sector and put forward the appropriate financial resources on behalf of all its members. Like Jim Gagliano, the President of the American Jockey Club, we believe that “anyone who touches a thoroughbred at any stage of his life must worry about his future after the races”. This is about the responsibility and ethics of our sport. Through this agreement, all breeders, owners, trainers and jockeys contribute financially to the second life of the horses they breed, buy, train and compete. This is a major step forward and we thank France Galop for taking it.

However, it is important to be aware that convalescence costs are sometimes much higher than 300 per horse, so this partnership does not mean exempting professionals from any other financial effort. From the point of view of Au-Dela Des Pistes, this funding is far from covering all our needs, in particular the promotional actions which are essential to change the perception of thoroughbreds by equestrian sports riders and encourage the demand for these horses. We will therefore not rest on our laurels and continue to look for sponsors and donors, while deploying the ADDP network in order to be able to welcome a growing number of ex-racehorses under the best conditions. To carry out all these missions, we can count on the professionalism and enthusiasm of Marine Thevenet and Julie Degand, our only two paid resources, in addition to a large number of volunteers who are committed to advancing the cause of retraining. The signing of this partnership is a great sign of recognition of their commitment.”

Olivier Delloye, Managing Director of France Galop, said:

“More than 10 years after the signature of the partnership with the Ligue Francaise de Protection du Cheval and then with the Seconde Chance Team, this new agreement is the third step in a to a real policy in the retraining of thoroughbred ex-racehorses. Ensuring the best possible future for our thoroughbreds when they leave our racecourses is a collective responsibility of the stakeholders in the equestrian sector, which takes shape in the financing method we have chosen with the support of representatives of breeders, trainers, owners and jockeys. Au-Dela Des Pistes has done a remarkable job since its creation, by building a national network of establishments in which racehorse owners can have confidence to carry out the retraining of their former representatives. Through this partnership, we are very happy to support this association and to build together a programme whose objective is to allow all former thoroughbred racehorses to enjoy a second career or a peaceful retirement. One of the conditions for success will of course be the expansion of the network of retraining structures. The door is therefore open to all those who are willing to advance this cause. I hope that the Ecurie Seconde Chance, that France Galop has supported for the last 10 years and which are well known for their competences, will join the network shortly.”



Contact Au-Delà Des Pistes

Julie Degand : julie.degand@audeladespistes.fr Marine Thevenet : marine.thevenet@audeladespistes.fr

Appendix: The retraining of racehorses in eight questions

Why is the retraining of racehorses a major issue for thoroughbred racing ? 

The sporting career of thoroughbreds is limited in time: some retire at the age of 3 and it is very rare to see horses over 10 years old on the racecourse. In addition, for a number of these athletes, the end of their career – or the impossibility of starting it – is caused by a health problem that may require a period of convalescence before considering a conversion to other equestrian disciplines.

With nearly 10,000 thoroughbreds in training in France, organising the retraining of race horses is therefore a major challenge for the equestrian sector.

Can we be sure that the horses placed by the CPSA and ADDP will not “end badly” ? 

Yes, when they leave the racetrack, retrained racehorses that are placed by the CPSA or ADDP are subject to administrative formalities that prevent their new entourage from using them and exclude them from consumption, making them impossible to sell for slaughter.

The reconversion establishments that are members of the ADDP network undertake to monitor the horses they have resold and to report back to ADDP at least once a year.

Where can I find a list of ADDP network member institutions ?

The list is available on the association’s website www.audeladespistes.fr .

17 establishments (associations or companies) are currently listed throughout France.

  • Cœur de Courses (Cagnes-sur-Mer, Alpes Maritimes)
  • Domaine Hope (Puget, Var)
  • Ecuries Wallace (Lourenties, Pyrénées Atlantiques)
  • Domaine de Perry (Pieusse, Aude)
  • Brandeau Equitation (Les Salles de Castillon, Gironde)
  • Esprit Réformés (Beauvoir sur Mer, Vendée)
  • Ecurie Mathieu Bodier (Joué-sur-Erdre, Loire Atlantique)
  • Haras des Passions (Thorigné d’Anjou, Maine et Loire)
  • CHB3 (Villemoisan, Maine et Loire)
  • Areion (Saumur, Maine et Loire)
  • Haras d’Ecorse (Morannes, Maine et Loire)
  • Haras du Breuil (Saint-Jouin de Blavou, Orne)
  • Qui Trotte Vie (Glanville, Calvados)
  • Haras de Boscherville (Bourgtheroulde, Eure)
  • Haras d’Oakland (Le Mesnil Thomas, Eure-et-Loir)
  • Ecurie du Mont Verdun (Gournay en Bray, Seine-Maritime)
  • Equiconnect (Mesnil La Comtesse, Aube)
  • Currently, the Ecurie Seconde Chance, situated in the Maine et Loire, has not wished to join the Au-Dela Des Pistes network and is therefore not included by the agreement signed with France Discussions are still ongoing to give a place to this historical enterprise in the management of the retraining of racehorses.

What happens to horses whose careers have ended due to a health problem?

These horses are placed by Au-Dela Des Pistes with financial assistance of €300 to help with convalescence expenses. The severity of the injuries varies, but most of these horses, which have suffered from tendonitis or a crack, for example, can be ridden again after a period of rest and care. Some of them will have after-effects, and will then be offered for adoption as field companions, ecological lawnmowers, etc.

Are all professionals who live from races involved ? 

Through this financing scheme, France Galop collects €250,000 from the prize money distributed to owners, trainers, jockeys and racehorse breeders. This amount therefore constitutes an indirect contribution on their part. They are also offered to give 1/1000th of their race winnings directly to the CSPA under an agreement in effect since 2007.

Au-Dela Des Pistes also continues to enlist other players in the equestrian sector (brokers, auction houses, veterinarians, etc.) through other forms of donations or partnerships.

Is this €350,000 enough to support all the horses culled each year ? 

The budget allocated by France Galop for 2019 makes it possible to meet the needs of at least 430 ex-racehorses: 70 for which the Ligue Française de Protection pays upkeep to approved hosts, and 360 placed by Au-Dela Des Pistes within its network. In addition, the Emergency Fund provides assistance to horses that may be in need of care.

What does this agreement provide for in cases of abuse or abandonment of horses?

The Emergency Fund, to which France Galop contributes €30,000 each year, makes it possible to provide assistance to former race horses whose owners are not paying or who are in a distress for any reason.

Are thoroughbreds really recommendable mounts for amateur riders?

 Once desensitised and retrained, thoroughbreds can perform well in a large number of disciplines and at all levels of competition. In the majority these are on horse-ball pitches, as well as in polo stables but also in equestrian centres, show-jumping arenas and eventing, from amateur level to the Olympic Games.

On the other hand, a thoroughbred who has been badly or insufficiently retrained may prove too energetic for a Sunday rider. The retraining process is therefore a key step that must be carried out according to the rules of the art, which is why Au-Dela Des Pistes pays the greatest attention to the referencing of its establishments.

Note: The next promotional events carried out jointly by France Gallop and Au-Dela Des Pistes

Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Retrained Racehorse Day at ParisLongchamp Racecourse Sunday, June 2, 2019 | Retrained Racehorse Day at Chantilly Racecourse Saturday, August 24, 2019 | Retrained Racehorse Day at Deauville Racecourse Sunday, November 3, 2019 | Retrained Racehorse Day at Auteuil Racecourse


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