Thoroughbreds will now be recognised in the starting lists and results beginning with the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, in an agreement announced on Tuesday.
Previously, retired Thoroughbred racehorses were listed as ‘breeding unknown’. The agreement–which applies to dressage, show jumping, and eventing–follows discussions between the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation (EMHF), the World Breeding Federation for Sports Horses (WBFSH), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the International Stud Book Committee (ISBC) and will extend also to all FEI competitions. Historically, under a Memorandum of Understanding between the FEI and the WBFSH, only member stud books of the WBFSH have been credited, as that organisation’s members specifically breed horses for the Olympic disciplines.
Dr. Paull Khan, Secretary-General of the EMHF and a member of the Steering Group of the International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR), said, “Much effort is made around the world to encourage the owners of retired racehorses to explore second careers for them. This recognition will both further the message that Thoroughbreds do go on to compete with distinction in other equestrian disciples and prompt more Thoroughbred owners to consider this retirement option for their racehorses.”