Off The Track

Off the track

Not every thoroughbred, no matter how illustrious its bloodlines, is destined to become a top-class racehorse.

But once they have finished their racing careers, thoroughbreds can still excel in other disciplines, such as eventing and polo. Others become leisure horses or even join the mounted police.

Godolphin fillies and mares are often retired to one of the Darley Stud farms and become broodmares. The most successful male racehorses from Godolphin become Darley Stallions some of which become shuttle stallions between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Glossary about off the track

Darley Stallions

Darley is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's global stallion operation, which stands stallions in six countries (UK, Ireland, France, America, Australia and Japan) and produces outstanding racehorses for Godolphin. Some of Godolphin’s greatest racehorses retire to Darley Stallions to become world-class leading sires, including Dubawi, Shamardal and Exceed and Excel.


Equine eventing involves three core disciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross country. Both horse and rider can compete at various levels in eventing clubs throughout the world and retired racehorses often make the perfect eventing horse when they are retired from racing.


Polo is a team sport played on horseback. Riders try to score goals by hitting a small ball through goalposts with a wooden mallet. In some countries, retired thoroughbreds often become part of a ‘polocrosse’ team which is an adaptation of polo and lacrosse where players use a net instead of a wooden mallet.


A broodmare carries a foal for approximately 11 months from conception to birth. When a domesticated mare foals, she nurses the foal for approximately six months before it is weaned. A healthy, well-managed mare can produce a foal every year into her twenties.

Shuttle Stallions

A shuttle stallion is a male horse who moves from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere to cover mares during their mating season.