Horse Racing

Last updated 29 June 2020

Doping of Horses

‘Doping’ refers to the illegal administering of banned substances to racehorses to improve their racing performance

Health Complications

Racehorses experience a number of painful health conditions that are attributed to their strict housing and training routine. 

Horse Breakers

Breaking and training of thoroughbreds commences between 15 and 18 months of age. Breaking in a horse refers to the process by which a horse is taught to comply with human commands through uncomfortable/stressful processes.

Human impacts of horse racing

All too overlooked is the negative effect of the horse and greyhound racing industries on human wellbeing. Horse and greyhound racing exists solely for, and is supported by, gambling.

Painful Equipment

The use of painful equipment in the horse racing industry is widespread.


On average, the racing career of a horse will end when they are between 2-3 years old. However, a horse’s natural life span is 25-30 years.

The Sales

In Australia thoroughbreds are auctioned off at all different stages of life. However, the most sought after age to buy thoroughbreds for racing is yearlings, as trainers begin training horses between 15 and 18 months of age.

The Stud

Australia is the second largest breeder of thoroughbred racehorses in the world, with 21,500 mares and 700 breeding stallions. Many overseas investors come to purchase Australian horses from the  sales in the hopes of purchasing a ‘winning’ horse. These horses are often exported overseas to then be trained and raced in foreign countries.


Horses are mostly confined to stables for 22 hours a day, the remaining time is accounted for by their strict training routine.


When horses exit the racing industry permanently it is described as ‘wastage’. The main reason horses exit the racing industry is due to poor performance, with less common factors including injury, illness or behavioural issues