SBC News BHA launches new campaign to lessen stigma around horse racing
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BHA launches new campaign to lessen stigma around horse racing

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has launched its latest campaign relating to horse welfare aiming to relax common misconceptions about the sport. 

The HorsePWR campaign – short for Purpose, Welfare and Responsibility – provides detailed information about the lives of thoroughbred horses and the high welfare and safety standards at the core of British racing. 

Kinross-based Jump Trainer Lucinda Russell said: “This is just what racing needs. We must provide the facts, help educate, and confront the tough questions head on. The facts matter. We understand our responsibility and respect our horses, and we want to make sure the public knows this too. 

“It’s good to see us taking a new approach, showing pride in the lives we give our horses, and challenging and correcting inaccurate information which is put into the public domain by those who are opposed to the sport.”

The campaign represents a cross-industry initiative courtesy of the BHA, Great British Racing (GBR), the Horse Welfare Board (HWB), with some additional funding provided by the Jockey Club

During the first phase, advertising and social graphics containing important information will be distributed across various racing stakeholders and racecourses that will aim to reach the five million annual racegoers. 

Gabi Whitfield, Head of Welfare Communications at Great British Racing, commented: “This is a positive shift for British racing. The public want to know that horses bred for racing are leading good lives, that racing acts responsibly and in the best interests of the horse, and that all efforts are being made to reduce risk wherever possible. 

“That’s why HorsePWR has been created. And it will cover the full spectrum, from helping rebut misinformation through to promoting the many aspects of racehorse welfare that the sport can be rightly proud of.”

With plans to extend the campaign to a bigger audience, the organisers seek to tackle false accusations around the treatment of horses on-and-off the racecourse that have created artificial barriers, preventing people from following or engaging with the sport. 

Robin Mounsey, Head of Communications, BHA, and member of the sport’s Horse Welfare Board, concluded: “The HorsePWR campaign sees the sport take a new approach when it comes to talking about welfare. It is about being up-front, open, and transparent. It is about tackling head-on the elements of the sport that we know are areas of concern and providing information to educate and reassure.

“Those who work in the sport are rightly proud of our record and standards when it comes to welfare. This campaign provides a platform to allow those connected with the sport to share their pride. It will be aimed at racing’s current and potential fans, seeking to ensure that future generations of racing followers are not lost to the sport due to negative perceptions around the welfare issues which are tackled by this campaign.

“HorsePWR has received significant support from across the racing industry, and we are especially grateful to the Jockey Club for providing additional funding to support the initial stage of the campaign.”

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