The owner and CEO of Team TBAITA
Fully insured and registered
BHS Gold Member (British Horse Society)
AOFA level 3 Qualified
Currently enrolled with the BHS and doing all BHSQ Qualifications up to BHSI to be an established coach across all three Olympic disciplines.
Based in Fairford, Gloucestershire.
The British Thoroughbred Agency is based in Fairford, Gloucestershire, and is the British division and head office for all OTTB rehomings within Great Britain and Ireland. Our Irish Thoroughbred Agency is the Irish division of our company which is one of our retraining and rehoming centres based in Donaghcloney, Craigavon, Northern Ireland and owned by Suzy Barkley Racing. Both thoroughbred agencies are fully insured and registered business's owned by Monique Lyle and Alexander Jackson.
The British Thoroughbred Agency and the Irish Thoroughbred Agency get weekly notifications straight from the studs and trainers across the UK and Ireland of horses retiring from the racing circuit.
Thoroughbreds are retired for many reasons and mainly because they are too slow for racing.
The British Thoroughbred Agency and the Irish Thoroughbred Agency get sent all their documentation which includes photos, videos and medical histories of each horse.
Team TBAITA then collect the horses that are available in the UK and Ireland and transport them to our rehoming centres, where they are assessed further and start their new schooling programmes. Some horses are also rehomed directly from our trusted trainers, studs and racing yards across Great Britain and Ireland, if we cannot accommodate more horses at our rehoming centres that week.
All horses are open to viewings and vettings, and horses are rehomed according to training, breeding, conformation and temperament.
The British Thoroughbred Agency and the Irish Thoroughbred Agency (Irish division) head office handles all enquires, viewings and vettings.
If you are new to Team TBAITA, we take exceptional care in making sure the right horses go to the right homes. We like to keep updated on all the horses and how they are settling into their second careers.
The Beginner’s Guide to rehoming an OTTB
Don’t expect the horse to be given away — If it is likely to have a chance at succeeding in any kind of career, it is worth a price, like any horse. Trainers and owners have recognised that if they put a value on a horse, it has more chance of ending up in a suitable home.
Thoroughbreds off-the-track have seen it all. The thoroughbred racehorse is often broken to saddle at two years old, educated to work on the track, walk into and jump out of barriers, travel on trucks, stand all day in the stalls, burst into a gallop then meander back home, and they see all kinds of crazy things on their way.
If you have the time and patience to ease them into their new life, you will find you have a pretty well-rounded horse on your hands. The idea of nasty track vices like wind sucking and weaving often turn people off, but they are not as prevalent as you might think. Even less so once a horse gets the freedom of a paddock. Once a thoroughbred knows where they are and what is expected of them, loud noises, flappy things, and crowds are no biggie, while the boutique breeds may not be so wise.
First of all – what exactly is an OTTB? An “off-the-track Thoroughbred” is a Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbred horse that was previously racing or in training to race, and has since been retired. Injury, lack of talent and old age are examples of reasons that can result in a horse being retired from the track.
What does an OTTB do once he/she is retired? Well, that’s where Team BTA and Team ITA come in. OTTBs have been known to transition into successful show horses in hunter/jumper, dressage, eventing and other styles. They can also be trained as lesson horses, companion animals, or even for therapeutic riding programs. Like people, horses have their own individual personalities, and some are better suited to a certain job than others are.
You’ll laugh every day with your OTTB!
Horses emerge from the racing industry with all sorts of quirks. Yes, some of them aren’t totally desirable, but mostly they just make you laugh. You’ll laugh when they taste their first apple and drool all over you with a look of “Where has this been all my life?!” You’ll laugh when you say “no” and they confusedly come back for more. Off-the-track thoroughbreds are discovering a whole new world of treats, paddocks, friends, shows and so much more. Sometimes you will want to cry, but mostly you will laugh along as your OTTB fumbles his way to a new career.
You’ve decided you want to purchase an off-the-track Thoroughbred. Here’s your beginner’s guide:
1) Research the breed – the most important thing is to know what you’ll be working with. Thoroughbreds are selectively bred for speed, stamina, and a variety of other factors that make them formidable on the racetrack, and they are not usually suitable for beginning riders. Thoroughbreds are often thought of as “hot” and hard to handle, but this is a myth (although there are always some outliers. We all have that one friend...). Extremely intelligent and willing to please, OTTBs are perfect for your next project.
2) Make your plan of attack – Many of our OTTBs do not cost a lot but of course, taking care of a horse for the rest of it's life is where things do get pricey. Once you find your dream horse, what are you going to do with him or her? Most racehorses know how to run and turn left. I recommend that when you get them off the track, you start by going right. From there, it’s up to you. Jumping, dressage, eventing, therapeutic riding programs, or your new money-making lesson horse – your OTTB will be the best investment you ever made.
3) Pay it forward – Thoroughbreds are beautiful, smart, talented animals, and it’s important to make sure that they’re taken care of once their racing days are over, regardless of how much money they made on the track. Sharing OTTB stories and links, or supporting organisations such as us makes it possible for us to do what we do.
4) They may not be used to conventional riding techniques - A racehorse will be unfamiliar with long stirrups and a heavier saddle and is unlikely to understand seat and leg aids until they are retrained. Jockeys are often given a leg up while the horse is walking so a former racehorse is unlikely to stand still for you while you mount from a block.
OTTBs will not be used to being exercised alone and will associate riding out in company with its former life on the gallops. They are unlikely to have travelled in a trailer before as they travel in trucks to the races. All day turnout will be a new experience that should be introduced gradually. They will be used to being in a busy yard and might be overwhelmed by your individual attention.
5) Buying an off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) fresh from the track can be an excellent bargain - but it takes some imagination to see what “could be” when faced with a scrawny three-year-old. Many riders, accustomed to seeing well-fleshed animals, find it difficult to see beyond the ribby skeleton and improper muscling that is common in a race-fit Thoroughbred. “His neck looks awkward. His back seems weak. He’s so narrow!” is a typical response from less experienced buyers.
Always be aware that horses are simple animals and a change of environment, feed regime and different relationships with the rider/owner can all greatly influence the horse's behaviour particularly in the period immediately following purchase.
We hope this article has helped you in your decision.
HAPPY RIDING !! 😃
The British And Irish Thoroughbred Agency