The wife of champion trainer Tony Gollan has established a foundation to ensure former racehorses find their forever home after racing.
Wirnpa could never quite break through on the track but he is set to be a hot commodity off it thanks to the work of Jane Gollan’s Transitioning Thoroughbreds Foundation.
The gelding was bred by Sheikh Mohammed’s racing conglomerate Godolphin and carved out an honest career, finishing up under the care of Peter and Will Hulbert before making his way to Gollan’s not-for-profit retraining foundation earlier this year.
Gollan, wife of champion trainer Tony, puts retired racehorses through a 12-week retraining program which determines where they would be best suited before selecting a new forever home for them.
While the eight-year-old received a blessing from Father Harry Chan on Wednesday, it’s clear his biggest blessing in life was ending up under Gollan’s care following his retirement.
Funded mainly by generous owners Gollan, however, can only rehome so many thoroughbreds but there is hope Racing Queensland’s new Off The Track program can help provide the funds to kickstart the process.
“Through the foundation I set up a year ago, we have retrained and rehomed seven horses and we have two in retraining now,” Gollan said.
“Prior to the foundation, we would be up near the hundred mark, mostly through (husband) Tony and some other trainers.
“The foundation was initiated because I saw there was a need for these horses to acquire skills before they were rehomed.”
With post-race homing now one of the biggest issues facing the industry, Gollan is determined to rehome as many horses as possible going forward.
Gollan points to Articus, a Caulfield Cup chance in 2016 who has gone on to compete in competitions in Rockhampton.
“Articus was running in Group 1s, he is an Australian Bloodstock horse they imported, we got him through Kris Lees and he is loving life,” she said.
“He is doing school riding and competitions up in the Rockhampton area with a 16-year-old.
“There are plenty of horses out there but it is the money which is holding us back.
“They have announced the new Off The Track program and we will apply to become one of those, we have two retrainers and we are about to add another with the money (donations) we have got recently and we will use that to help a couple of horses from the Mount Isa area.