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HERO (Harness Education & Rehoming Opportunities) was launched in July 2015 by Harness Racing Victoria (HRV).

HERO is the flagship component of HRV’s animal welfare framework and creates positive retirement pathways for standardbreds exiting the racing environment.

Catering for horses whose racing careers have ended – and it makes no difference whether the horse has been successful or unsuccessful on the racetrack – and also for horses who do not make the racetrack, HERO works directly with the industry, its breeders, owners, trainers, and drivers.

The program’s focus is on facilitating opportunities for standardbreds to transition from racing, race training or breeding for racing to appropriate long-term retirement homes, primarily as ridden or pleasure harness horses.

Since HERO’s inception the support from all sectors of the harness racing community has been extraordinary, not only those involved with the hands-on care and training of horses, but also sponsors, administrators and kindred bodies.

As a result, more Victorian standardbreds than ever are being placed into loving life-after-racing homes.



Equitana Melbourne
November 11 – 14, 2021

Now in its 22nd year, Equitana 2021 will bring the world of equine education, entertainment, exhibition and competition to the heart of Melbourne.

Promoted as the biggest horse themed event in Australasia, Equitana Melbourne comprises more than 70 local and International educators covering a broad and diverse range of topics.

HERO has secured space in the popular Breed Village where the Equine Ambassador Team will be featured for the duration of the four-day extravaganza.

Visit Equitana


Are you interested in becoming a HERO Recognised Retrainer?
To start the application process, please email the below details to
  • Name
  • Contact Number
  • Location
  • A brief overview explaining why you want to become a HERO Recognised Retrainer
A member of our HERO team will then be in contact with you following your submission.
Amanda Porter

Forest View Thoroughbreds

Garfield North Vic 3814

Daniel Bourke

Utopia Performance Horses

Sebastian, Central Vic 3556

Fiona Dearing

Heroes with Hooves

Gordon, Victoria

Susan and Heather Paix

Patchwork Park Equestrian Centre

Snake Valley VIC

Gavin Beever

H-ED Horse Education

Emu Creek VIC 3551

Jodee Young

Silhouette Farm

Myrrhee VIC 3732

Mark & Di McIntosh

The Horse Workshop

Bass VIC 3991

Nicole Touzel

Marzel Park

Katamatite VIC 3649

Nikki Cook

Shory Park

Mount Duneed VIC 3217

Jackie & Stacey Barker

Monivae Park Standardbreds

Hamilton VIC 3300

Maree & Holi Campbell


Maiden Gully VIC 3551

Kimberly Humphreys and Rose Stacey

KARH Equestrian

Oaklands Junction, VIC


Thank you for considering HERO as a life-after-racing option for your retired standardbred.

The following information is provided to assist in determining whether HERO is right for your needs:

  • Horses are added to the HERO Register once their entry paperwork (HERO Application Form and HRA Deregistration Form) has been received and approved
  • HERO does not discriminate based on race performance or appearance, however, horses must be of sound mind and body
  • HERO horses remain in the care of their racing owner until a placement becomes available
  • It is the racing owner’s responsibility to deliver the horse to HERO or cover the cost of transportation
  • Priority is given to horses which are coming directly out of racing/race training
  • Broodmares will only be accepted up to the age of 12
  • HERO does not accept colts or stallions
  • HERO does not accept Standardbreds which have previously been rehomed outside of racing
  • HERO horses are donated to the Program. No payment is made
  • Horses must have at least four weeks to let down before commencing HERO retraining
  • Horses must be paddock sound before joining HERO
  • Horses must be in good physical condition, up to date with worming and have tidy feet
  • All HERO horses are deregistered for racing and breeding purposes
  • Any known injury or health issues must be disclosed via the HERO Application Form

You may seek alternate opportunities while your horse is awaiting a HERO placement but must advise if it is rehomed elsewhere so it can be removed from the waiting list.

Horses placed with a HERO registered re-trainer but subsequently deemed to be unsuitable for re-education due to physical or mental unsoundness will be returned to the racing owner at the racing owner’s expense.

If you would like to make a retired standardbred available for placement via the HERO program, please email for an application form or phone 0411 499 051 during business hours.

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