As the thoroughbreds take their starting positions at Cartmel Races this Saturday 22 July, a Shetland pony will be there to steal the show.

Washbear will not be taking to the racetrack though, she is the mascot for the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre.

The BTRC is based in Lancaster and have been selected by Cartmel Racecourse to be their chosen charity for race day.

The team will be fundraising to support their work retraining and rehoming retired racehorses, as they walk around with Washbear.

It costs around £450,000 each year to support the horses and since funding from the racing industry ended in 2018, the money must be generated through charity. All the funds raised on the day will go straight back into helping vulnerable thoroughbreds who need support after their racing days are over.

Lauren Vickerson, Communications & Engagement Manager for BTRC said: "Through our Vulnerable Horse Programme, BTRC offers a safe haven for any thoroughbred that has fallen on hard times as the charity will never turn away a horse that needs help. The centre prides itself on ensuring every horse gets the best chance at a new career through extensive clinical assessments, rehabilitation and professional retraining. But most of all, providing these horses with the love and care they deserve."

The BTRC is passionate that their thoroughbreds should have a valuable and rewarding life, so once retrained they are re-homed via the loan programme.

Lauren explained: "The loaner pays a one off fee and becomes a monthly supporter of the charity, but we retain ownership of all our horses so that way if the loaner’s circumstances change and they are no longer able to keep the horse, it can return to us rather than potentially becoming vulnerable again.”

BTRC are hosting a Family Fun Day on Saturday August 5 find more details at: