SAQ Adoption Program

The SAQ adoption program has been running since 2003 and we have successfully re-homed over 600 Standardbreds, retired from their racing careers. Some of these horses were retired due to injuries, or simply because they lacked speed. ›› Read more


Horse Registration

The SAQ can provide Standardbred owners with show registration cards that are necessary to contest agricultural shows and participate in the National High Point Awards and the SAQ Annual Awards. ›› Read more



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About the SAQ Adoption Program

The SAQ Standardbred Adoption Program has been running since 2003 and we have successfully re-homed almost 1000 Standardbreds, retired from their racing careers during this time. Some of these horses were retired due to injuries, or simply because they lacked speed. Many of these horses are now extremely successful in the competition ring, with some even being Australia’s National Champion Standardbreds. Other horses have been re-homed as companion horses, or pleasure and trail riding horses and some have given nervous riders, their confidence back in the saddle!

If you are interested in adopting a Standardbred through the SAQ please

email Melissa Bell or phone 0412 973 102 for more information

or visit our SAQ Horse Placement Facebook Group


How Does the Program Work?

Standardbreds are regularly being offered through the SAQ to GOOD HOMES. Most of the horses offered have not been broken to saddle, but are very easy to re-educate by anyone with some experience, commonsense and lots of patience. The temperament of the breed in general makes the Standardbred suitable for almost any use, and they are easily handled by a sensible beginner.

If you will need assistance to re-start your Standardbred under saddle, the Association may be able to provide the names of some people who are familiar with the re-education of Standardbreds. We also have several registered re-trainer who we are able to send unstarted horses to for basic training undersaddle.

The horses are retired from, or are unsuitable for Harness Racing for many reasons; some are just not fast enough, others may have minor injuries. Your intended use will influence the type of horse that is suitable. Many minor injuries, which prevent a horse from racing, do not re-occur in the less stressful situations of retirement homes.

All horses adopted through the SAQ are placed on a free lease probationary period basis under an adoption contract for the first 12 months. During this period all up keep of the horse (including vet bills, farriery, worming etc) is the responsibility of the adoptee. During the first 12 months the adoptee will also be required to do a 3 month update, which includes sending photos of the horse, and to have two well-being checks (one at 6 months & one at 12 months) performed by a vet. These checks are to ensure the wellbeing of the horse and the cost is to be met by the adoptee. If, for any reason during this time, the horse is found to be unsuitable, or your circumstances change, it is simply a matter of contacting the SAQ Horse Placement Officer to organise putting the horse back through the Adoption Program for re-adoption.

An adoption contract must be signed upon taking possession of a horse, and you must agree that the horse is never raced again. At completion of the Lease Period, if all parties are satisfied, full ownership of the horse will then be transferred to you.

Please Note: as horses are donated by Owners/Trainers, the SAQ has made a decision that horses are NOT to be raced or used for commercial purposes such as riding schools etc.