Participant Information and Consent

You are invited to participate in a Charles Sturt University research study, in collaboration with Hartpury University in the UK, aimed at identifying the desirable attributes shown in retired racehorses that are actively participating in a post-racing career.  Annually, there are a significant number of racehorses, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred, that retire from the racetrack and join a different discipline or are used for a different purpose.  Currently, little is known about the physical and behavioural attributes that make retired racehorses successful in a specific post-racing career.

The study is being conducted by Mollie Buckley from the School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences at Charles Sturt University. (Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. Charles Sturt University CRICOS Provider: 00005F)


Mollie Buckley, Bachelor of Equine Science, Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Glenys Noble PhD School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences
Hayley Randle PhD School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences

Before you decide whether or not you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.
What is the purpose of this study?
This project aims to identify both physical and behavioural attributes that are desired in retired Australian racehorses that are participating in a different equestrian role.  The aim will be achieved through the following objectives:
     1.    Use qualitative research methods to identify desirable attributes of retired racehorses in a successful post racing career.
     2.    Indicate if these attributes can be supported while still racing and specify next research steps.
Conducting this research should help the Australian racing industry to address the very relevant issue of re-homing racehorses after they retire from the track.

Previous research in the U.S. has shown that temperament, presence of vices, gender, age, height, degree of training and physical limitations are factors which affect a retired racehorse’s ability to be re-homed and perform well in a new career.  This survey will be asking similar questions related to the characteristics and temperament of the retired racehorse, both on the ground and when ridden, to identify those attributes desired from an Australian perspective.

Why have I been invited to participate in this study?
The project is seeking owners of retired racehorses within Australia to participate in this research project.  You have found and been encouraged to complete the survey, maybe via social media, a link on an Equestrian organisation website or as a recommendation.  

If you are not currently 18 years of age or over, unfortunately you are not eligible to participate. 

What does this study involve?
If you agree to participate, you are asked to complete this online survey that should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.

At the end of the survey you will be asked for your name, contact number and email for the purpose of helping with further research in this area.  You can choose not to provide your details.  Any personal contact details are protected under the Data Protection Act (2018) and will not be shared.  If you do choose to provide your contact details, only the researchers listed above will be in touch with you.

The responses you provide to the survey questions will be separated from your contact details (should you wish to provide them) by the survey administrator, who is not affiliated with this research.  Therefore, the answers you provide in the survey will remain anonymous.
Are there risks and benefits to me in taking part in this study?
The most relevant potential risk is survey fatigue.  Survey fatigue is frequent due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is a potential discomfort in this study.  Free access is available from several support services listed below where you can seek help if needed:
  • Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
  • Lifeline 131 114
  • Black Dog Institute 02 9382 4530
  • Headspace 03 9027 0100
We cannot promise you any benefit from participating in this research.

How is this study being paid for?
All costs associated with the research are paid by Charles Sturt University.  Charles Sturt University will not have any input in the research results.

Will taking part in this study (or travelling to) cost me anything, and will I be paid?
There are no costs associated with completing the online survey, and there is no payment to participants for completing the survey.

There are no financial consequences associated with deciding to later withdraw from the survey, or from helping with further research.

There is also no payment to participants who choose to be a part of further research.

What if I don't want to take part in this study?
Participation in this research is entirely your choice.  Whether you decide to participate or not is your decision and will not disadvantage you.  Only those who give their informed consent will be included in the project.

What if I participate and want to withdraw later?
You can withdraw from the survey at any time without any consequence. 
  • If you start the survey and decide you do not want to continue at any point, you are not obligated to finish the survey.
  • If you choose to participate by completing the survey, you are not obligated to help with further research.
  • If you provide your contact details but later decide you do not want to be a part of further research in this area, you are not obligated to agree to be a part of it.
As anonymously collected data cannot be withdrawn, if you choose to withdraw from the survey, answers that you provided prior to withdrawing will be used as part of the data collection.
How will my confidentiality be protected?
The research data will be kept secure under the Data Protection Act (2018).  Data will be stored and analysed on the head researcher’s laptop (which is password protected) and stored on the head researcher’s hard drive.  The data will be processed electronically and participants will be assigned an identification number for inclusion on the spreadsheet.

Only the researcher and supervisors (both in Australia and UK) will have access to the data. The data are owned and held by Charles Sturt University and Hartpury University, with the intention to publish the data to open access.

Responses entered into this online survey are protected under SurveyMonkey's privacy policy and security statement (click on the word links for more information).  The data collected are owned by Charles Sturt University and Hartpury University, and are protected under these institutions' policies.  The data collected cannot be destroyed.

Participants who provide their contact details; your information will be kept secure on the head researcher’s laptop with the data collection from the survey.  Again, only the researcher and supervisors will have access to this information unless you consent otherwise, except as required by law.

The data will be retained securely for at least five years at CSU.

What will happen to the information that I give you? 
The data will be presented as a dissertation to be submitted for Mollie Buckley’s Honours degree.  The data are aimed to become open access published data.

Participants will not be identified in any reports associated with this project.  All data presented will be anonymous.

Once the project is finalised and a dissertation presented, research results will be emailed to major industry organisations.  These organisations will be encouraged to share the results on their website and via other media.

Participants who provide their contact details, including an email address, to be a part of further research will receive a copy of the completed report via email.
What should I do if I want to discuss this study further before deciding?
If you would like further information, please contact:
     Mollie Buckley

     Stephanie Evans

     Primary supervisor:
     Dr Glenys Noble
     Senior Lecturer in Animal Nutrition
     School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences
     Charles Sturt University 

     Dr Hayley Randle
     Associate Professor in Equine Science
     School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences
     Charles Sturt University
     Dr Jane Williams
     Associate Professor and Head of Research,
     Department of Animal and Agriculture 
     Hartpury University (UK)

Who should I contact if I have concerns about the conduction of this study?
Charles Sturt University’s Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this project [Hartpury ETHICS2019-63]. If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact the Committee through the Research Integrity Unit via the following contact details:
     The Presiding Officer
     Human Research Ethics Committee
     Research Integrity Unit
     Locked Bag 588
     Wagga Wagga NSW 2678
     Phone: (02) 6933 4213

Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated thoroughly, and you will be informed of the outcome.

Thank you for taking the time to read about the project and consider this invitation.

Please print this information to retain throughout the duration of this research and to refer back to as required.

Question Title

* 1. Do you consent to the following:
  • I agree to participate in this research study as described above;
  • I understand the purpose and nature of this study;
  • I understand that my responses will be used to inform future research and may anonymously used in the researcher's publications on this topic.