A life after racing: The unique careers of retired racehorses

Features | 3rd July 2024

When a racehorse retires, their lives are far from over.

Their athleticism, intelligence, and versatility make them the perfect candidates for a variety of new vocations.

Take a look at some of the most unique careers that retired racehorses have had.

Liverpool The Stunt Horse

Previously in training with Mick Easterby and ridden by his granddaughter, Joanna Mason, Liverpool now spends his days with the Atkinson Stunt team. He has even featured in ITV Series, The Winter King. That’s not the only string to Liverpool’s bow, he also won the Jockey Club’s ROR Horse of the Year in 2015.

Carhue The Police Horse

Who ever said thoroughbreds were flighty? Carhue has made quite the impression on the Welsh mounted police force, where he now serves as a police horse with the Dyfed-Powys Police Special Constables. ‘Huey’ has been out on patrol at events such as the Royal Welsh Show and has proved to be an invaluable member of the force.

Credit: Retraining of Racehorses

Caymans The Falconry Horse

Possibly the most unique of all the retired racehorse careers, is the Recycled Racehorse Falconry team. These ex-racehorses are trained to perform stunts with birds of prey. Caymans only has one eye, yet he excels at his new job due to his speed and athleticism which allows his to keep up with the falcons.

Dreamisi The Therapy Horse

The gentle, affectionate nature of the thoroughbred is well suited to this role. ‘Isi’ is just one of the many ex-racehorses who have gone on to offer support and comfort to those who need it. He has helped hundreds of vulnerable, young people as well as released prisoners at Strength and Learning Through Horses in North London to overcome their own hurdles.

Credit: RoR

King Erik and Abel Tasman The Park Rangers

‘Erik and Able’ have turned their hooves to patrolling Elemore Country Park near Durham as park rangers. Their role is to establish a safer, welcoming environment by deterring any anti-social behaviour they might encounter whilst out on patrol. The pair have proved incredibly valuable to the park, by being able to cover the expanse of the park with ease, and by also becoming beloved characters of Elemore.

These are just a handful of the remarkable careers that many racehorses will enter after they finish racing. Other more popular disciplines include polo, eventing, showing, and dressage just to name a few.