Horse racing and mental health: supporting #GoRacingGreen

Wed, 17 Nov, 2021

It has been an exceptionally busy last few weeks for Unibet Racing. Unibet, part of Kindred Group, sponsored the Jump Season opener at Chepstow racecourse, featuring the Unibet Persian War novices’ hurdle live on ITV, signalling the start of another eagerly awaited jumps season. Additionally, the Unibet sponsored Road to Cheltenham, a series of six top-class ITV televised two-mile hurdle sponsorships, culminating with the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, started at the beginning of November. In tandem with these racecourse sponsorships, Kindred, through its Unibet brand, has continued to support #GoRacingGreen, a horse racing project that aims to make racing accessible to those who suffer from mental health.

#GoRacingGreen is an advocate for inclusion, making sure anyone who wants to, has the opportunity to interact with horses at no cost. At every race meeting at which Unibet sponsors, we provide a safe and secure space for those with invisible illnesses to see the horses and watch the action. We also donate 33% of our marketing assets to the organisation to help them promote their key objectives on the day. Prior to a race meeting, #GoRacingGreen also produce detailed sensory guides which get posted on racecourse websites and social media feeds. These help people with invisible illnesses know what to expect on the day in terms of sensory stimuli.

In addition to these race sponsorships, we also support all #GoRacingGreen stable visits. These are for those who struggle to go to race meetings as they may face challenges in life, be it mentally, physically, or socially, that prevent them from visiting big open spaces with thousands of people.

These individuals may not have long term or permanent challenges - they may just be going through a rough patch. But whatever the reason, these small, friendly, and informal visits enable people to get close to the horses and enjoy a couple of hours out and about with like-minded people with no questions asked and no labels.

Since we started to support #GoRacingGreen we have helped arrange dozens of stable and stud visits, including some at famous training establishments, studs, ex-racehorse homes, as well as mounted police horse stables around the UK, Ireland, and even within the Channel Islands.

In total, over 25 visits have taken place, including to the stables of Nicky Henderson, Fergal O'Brien, Claire Hart Equine, Martin Keithley, Ruth Jefferson, Micky Hammond, among other famous names. They even visited the Avon and Somerset Mounted Police.

In the last month, #GoRacingGreen has been on a UK road trip, helping those with invisible illnesses in the North West and the North East of England to visit famous stables and studs.

In October, as part of World Mental Health Day, Debbie Matthews, Founder of #GoRacingGreen, recently delivered a presentation to all Kindred Employees, telling her story and explaining what it is she is trying to achieve with the project for those who suffer from mental health.

For even more examples of all the activities of the last few weeks, please click here. This will provide you with detailed information about the visits supported by Kindred and what it is like to see these horses close up from those who attend the events.   



  • Ed Nicholson
    Head of Kindred Group Racing UK