Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 15:04 UK

Retired racehorse heroes awarded

The retired horses can be taught show-jumping and polo

A charity has won a Pride of Racing Award for the work it does to help former racehorses.

The Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme, known as Heros and based in Wantage, gives race horses a future when their racing days are over.

The retired horses learn to take part in dressage, show-jumping, hacking and polo. Some are kept as pets.

The Heros charity has so far managed to find new homes for more than 300 retired racehorses.

The Betfair Pride of Racing Awards celebrate the achievements and work of people who have made major contributions to the British racing community, both on and off the track.

It's not just the good ones... they are all loved by us
Grace Muir
Heros founder

"We are absolutely thrilled." said Heros founder, Grace Muir. "It's a lovely bronze statue. Four people won an award last night and it was really lovely to receive one."

Ms Muir set up Heros to try and help some of the thousands of horses forced out of racing each year.

"It's wonderful because people really know that the thoroughbred is there and is so good at other jobs apart from racing," she said.

Lots of famous horses have been re-homed by Heros, which is based at North Farm Stud at Fawley.

But Ms Muir said "It's not just the good ones, it's all of them. We don't mind if they're good or not, they're all loved by us."

The award ceremony was held at Lord's Cricket Ground in the presence of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, who is the President of Racing Welfare.

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