At Bhima Thoroughbreds, every horse that resides on our farm is treated with the amount of respect and care that they deserve to ensure they have a successful and safe racing or breeding career.
Animal Welfare is of paramount importance to us, and this is reflected in the care of every horse to pass through the farm whether they are a retired racehorse starting their breeding career, a new-born foal or a yearling at the very beginning of their education.
Our foals are carefully monitored and assessed from birth to ensure that they are strong enough for the life ahead of them. For new-born foals that aren’t quite strong enough, we have numerous methods to allow them time to strengthen before moving into a yard.
This can be as simple as limiting the movement of the foal and keeping it in a small stable for a few days, using supportive bandages to help strengthen weak limbs and joints, and administering plasma if the veterinarian deems a foal’s blood is irregular – this is a great booster to their immune system.
All of these methods ensure our foals are physically strong and developed and have the best possible start to life.
Throughout the breeding season, we have a veterinarian on the farm every day. This means we can keep a close eye on the young foals and ensure that that the mares recover safely from birth and can go back in foal the next season without any complications.
When the foals are aged approximately six months, they are weaned and turned out into a big paddock with other foals to grow and develop naturally. By moving them into larger paddocks they can exercise naturally which aids in strengthening their bones and joints.
They are monitored and assessed regularly as the early development is vital in any young horse to progress through the next stages of their life and have a safe racing career.
At around 14 months, the now yearlings that have been born and raised at Bhima enter a yearling preparation. This entails a combination of them being stabled, groomed, hand walked, rugged and spending time in the paddocks.
Each yearling is assessed and assigned a preparation plan specialised to the individual needs of the horse. This early education is fundamental in a racing career and allows us to prepare them to a high standard before being sold.
A yearling preparation generally lasts around 10 weeks.
Each horse sold by Bhima, whether they are a weanling, yearling or broodmare, are all sold on the Kick Sales Platform which maximises transparency between the buyer and seller.
The Kick Sales Platform discloses information such as where the horse was born and raised, any surgical procedures and current treatments that they have, and who owns and bred the horse.
Many retired racehorses will begin their new breeding careers at Bhima. Just like every other horse on our farm, they are assessed regularly to determine when is the best time to start this new stage of their life.
Once the breeding season is over, both pregnant and dry mares spend their days in large paddocks which are regularly rotated to ensure that pasture is of the highest quality. In times of drought, feed supplements are given to ensure that the mares diet is still fulfilled.
This season, Bhima have also taken a stand against Hendra Virus, which is a virus carried by bats, by vaccinating every horse on the farm to protect both horse and human population.