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.
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
Forest View Thoroughbreds
Garfield North Vic 3814
Utopia Performance Horses
Sebastian, Central Vic 3556
Heroes with Hooves
Balmattum VIC 3666
H-ED Horse Education
Emu Creek VIC 3551
Myrrhee VIC 3732
The Horse Workshop
Bass VIC 3991
Katamatite VIC 3649
Mount Duneed VIC 3217
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.