horses racing

Transitions and Transformations in the Rehabilitation, Retraining and Rehoming of Racehorses

Project Team

Professor Alex Franklin

Dr Helen Wadham - Manchester Metropolitan University (Lead)

Dr Nora Schuurman - University of Turku


BA/ Leverhulme Small Research Grants SRG 2023 Round

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1 December 2023 - 30 November 2024

Project Overview

This pilot project will explore spatial transitions and relational transformations experienced by animals due to interventions in their lives by humans. It will focus on rehomed racehorses in the form of interspecies care practices that bring the animals into – or out of – contact with humans and space in new ways, often with significant material and welfare implications. It will inform a full funding proposal.

Project Objectives

  • To build understanding of human responsibility for interventions in nonhuman lives in moments of transition
  • To highlight the significance of human contact in animal lives
  • To raise awareness among public and policymakers of animal welfare implications of transitions and transformations and how these can be enhanced or mitigated through interspecies interventions of care
  • To reflect on the methodological opportunities and challenges of undertaking a less human-centred approach to research with marginalised and potentially vulnerable animals and the people who care for them.

Impact Statement

This pilot project will enable a better understanding of how to support transitioning ex-racehorses and their human companions. It will stimulate reflection and debate between key stakeholders on the types of transition and transformation associated with the rehabilitation, retraining and rehoming of racehorses and the implications for the practicing of ‘good’ interspecies care.

man riding a horse

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