5 Apr 2024

New campaign launched by British racing to build public trust around horse welfare

  • British racing’s new HorsePWR platform goes live as new digital hub www.horsepwr.co.uk becomes the central resource for welfare information
  • Bold new look and feel with the Thoroughbred put front and centre of the new campaign
  • Campaign sees racing adopt a more transparent approach to sharing data and talking about risks
  • Cross-industry campaign led by British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Great British Racing (GBR), and racing’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB), with additional funding provided by the Jockey Club 
  • Seven core messages accompany the campaign launch. Download example campaign assets here.

British racing has today launched HorsePWR, a new communications campaign designed to share and promote the facts around welfare in horseracing. The campaign’s new platform www.horsepwr.co.uk provides the facts about the sport and the Thoroughbred, to share information about their purpose, the lives they lead, and the high welfare and safety standards that underpin British racing.

Example campaign messages in Poster format. Click to enlarge.

Racing’s new digital hub brings together in one place all the most important information on horse welfare – easy to find, easy to read – with facts and data provided and questions answered. HorsePWR also explores the areas that racing has committed to improve, from reducing risk on and off the racecourse to better supporting horses when they leave the sport.

The campaign’s name is centred on a clear need to better connect with people around ‘purpose, welfare, and responsibility’ in British racing, with these core values underpinning the campaign and its PWR acronym. Visually, HorsePWR takes a bold and confident approach, putting the Thoroughbred front and centre of the entire campaign to promote its status as an equine athlete.

Example campaign messages in screen format. Click to enlarge.

Commenting on this bold new approach to welfare communications, Kinross-based Jump trainer Lucinda Russell said:

“This is just what racing needs. We must provide the facts, help educate, and confront the tough questions head on. The facts matter. We understand our responsibility and respect our horses, and we want to make sure the public know this too. It’s good to see us taking a new approach, showing pride in the lives we give our horses, and challenging and correcting inaccurate information which is put into the public domain by those who are opposed to the sport.”

Racing broadcaster Richard Hoiles added:

“Following the welfare debates around last year’s Grand National it was felt the sport lacked a single source for accurate facts about racing, and this campaign fills that vacuum. This is about providing credible data and information, in the right context, so that people can make informed opinions.”

Gabi Whitfield, Head of Welfare Communications, Great British Racing said:

“This is a positive shift for British racing. The public want to know that horses bred for racing are leading good lives, that racing acts responsibly and in the best interests of the horse, and that all efforts are being made to reduce risk wherever possible. That’s why HorsePWR has been created. And it will cover the full spectrum, from helping rebut misinformation through to promoting the many aspects of racehorse welfare that the sport can be rightly proud of.”

Over the past 10 years, consumer research has repeatedly highlighted that concerns about horse welfare are a barrier to following or engaging with the sport. Areas of concern include injuries and fatalities on racecourses, questions about the ethics of racing, and worries about what happens to horses after their career ends. The HorsePWR campaign has been created to tackle these concerns head on, and in a new way.

With plans to grow and develop over time, racing’s more confident and dynamic approach aims to educate, reassure, and inspire racing’s existing fans, and the potential fans of the future.

Example campaign messages in social media format. Click to enlarge.

Robin Mounsey, Head of Communications, BHA, and member of the sport’s Horse Welfare Board explained:   

“The HorsePWR campaign sees the sport take a new approach when it comes to talking about welfare. It is about being up-front, open, and transparent. It is about tackling head-on the elements of the sport that we know are areas of concern and providing information to educate and reassure.

“Those who work in the sport are rightly proud of our record and standards when it comes to welfare. This campaign provides a platform to allow those connected with the sport to share their pride. It will be aimed at racing’s current and potential fans, seeking to ensure that future generations of racing followers are not lost to the sport due to negative perceptions around the welfare issues which are tackled by this campaign.

“HorsePWR has received significant support from across the racing industry, and we are especially grateful to the Jockey Club for providing additional funding to support the initial stage of the campaign.”

This first stage of HorsePWR has been funded by the BHA, GBR, and the Jockey Club and is fully supported by the sport’s Horse Welfare Board as a key deliverable from racing’s ‘Life Well Lived’ strategy. In its initial phase, the campaign will be rolled-out to racing stakeholders and racecourses, with new advertising and social graphics around important proof points created to engage the sport’s five-million annual racegoers. In the longer-term the ambition is to grow the campaign to connect and engage with significantly wider audiences.

The BHA and GBR also worked with representatives of Stand Up For Racing in developing the campaign.

Kevin Blake, racing broadcaster and founder member of Stand Up For Racing, said:

“Stand Up For Racing was founded this time last year to help counter the misinformation and negative scrutiny our sport was targeted with in the media coverage around the Grand National protests. The HorsePWR campaign will serve a hugely-important purpose of providing pertinent facts, data and information to help all of us be the best ambassadors we can be for our industry going forward.”

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