Finding the Perfect Horse Can Be Easy, But There’s Lots to Consider!
The SAQ Standardbred Horse Placement Program has been running since 2002 and we have successfully re-homed more than 1000 Standardbreds, retired from their racing careers during this time. Some of these horses were retired due to injuries, or simply because they lacked speed. Many of these horses are now extremely successful in the competition ring, with some even being Australia’s National Champion Standardbreds. Other horses have been re-homed as companion horses, or pleasure and trail riding horses and some have given nervous riders their confidence back in the saddle!
The horses are retired from, or are unsuitable for harness racing for many reasons; some are just not fast enough, others may have minor injuries. Your intended use will influence the type of horse that is suitable. Many minor injuries, which prevent a horse from racing, do not re-occur in the less stressful situations of retirement homes.
If you will need assistance to re-start your Standardbred under saddle, the Association may be able to provide the names of some people who are familiar with the re-education of Standardbreds. We also have several registered re-trainers who we are able to send unstarted horses to for basic training undersaddle.
Please note: Effective 1st October 2019, the SAQ Horse Placement Program is closed to new horses!
Although the Standardbred Association Queensland is not accepting new horses into the Horse Placement Program, we are honouring our commitment to all horses currently in the program and those previously placed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does the Adoption Process Take?
What does the Adoption Process Involve?
Upon taking possession of a horse, an adoption contract must be signed and the adoptee must agree that the horse is never raced again.
During the 12 month adoption period, all costs for the up-keep of the horse (including vet bills, farriery, worming etc) are the responsibility of the adoptee.
The adoptee is required to provide a three month update, which includes sending photos of the horse, and to have two well-being checks (one at six months and one at 12 months) performed by a vet. These checks, to ensure the wellbeing of the horse, are at the cost of the adoptee.
If, for any reason during this time, the horse is found to be unsuitable, or the adoptee’s circumstances change, it is simply a matter of the adoptee contacting the SAQ Horse Welfare Officer to organise putting the horse back through the Rehoming Program for re-adoption.
At completion of the Lease Period, if all parties are satisfied, full ownership of the horse will then be transferred to the adoptee.
Please Note: as horses are donated by owners/trainers, the SAQ has made a decision that horses are NOT to be raced again or used for commercial purposes such as riding schools etc.
How Much Does Adopting Cost?
Adoptees are required to join the SAQ for a minimum period of two years. Click here to view the SAQ membership options.
Before information about horses will be released, an application for adoption must be completed and submitted with the correct fees:
- SAQ membership fees and
- horse placement fees of;
- $95 for an unstarted under saddle, Standardbred; or
- $300 for a started under saddle/retrained Standardbred.
Will I need Additional Veterinarian Services?
Two well-being, veterinary checks will be required at six months and twelve months of the adoption period. These checks are compulsory and are at the expense of the adoptee.
Who has legal ownership during the adoption and when does it pass to me?
The horse may not be given away or sold during the adoption period.
At the completion of the adoption, if all program conditions have been met, the adoptee may apply for the ownership of the horse to be transferred to them.
How Does the Program Work?
Standardbreds are being offered through the SAQ to GOOD HOMES. Most of the horses offered have not been broken to saddle, but are very easy to re-educate by anyone with some experience, commonsense and lots of patience. The temperament of the breed in general makes the Standardbred suitable for almost any use, and they are easily handled by a sensible beginner.
The horses are retired from, or are unsuitable for Harness Racing for many reasons; some are just not fast enough, others may have minor injuries. Your intended use will influence the type of horse that is suitable. Many minor injuries, which prevent a horse from racing, do not re-occur in the less stressful situations of retirement homes.