Having always enjoyed racing, Kevin Jardine initially started rehoming racehorses as a hobby – however, it’s now turned itself into a full time job.

Based at Solwaybank Farm, Dumfries-shire with wife, Michelle and daughters, Kayleigh (18) and Shannon (13), the quiet yard is home to about seven or eight racehorses at any one time.

"I’ve always been interested in racing," explained Kevin, "we had a racehorse that we rehomed once his career was over and that’s where it all started. There was no value in thoroughbreds then and I wanted to give them a chance after racing."

Starting in 2010 rehoming 20 racehorses, the family-run team haS gone from strength to strength over the last few years, with 150 horses being rehomed last year and more than 200 are expected for this year. "We only source horses direct from racing, that way we know we are getting a blank canvas and that the horses are from a high health yards," added Kevin.

Having established themselves over the years, Solway Racehorses now have trainers that are good supporters of what they do, such as Keith Dalgleish Racing, Carluke; Richard Fahey, North Yorkshire; and Donald McCain Racing, Cholmondeley. They are some of the biggest supporters, sending numerous horses to Solwaybank.

However, with so many horses out there, it’s becoming increasingly hard to rehome horses that have sustained any injuries during their racing career and so 95% of the horses arriving at Solway Racehorses have come off the track sound and with clean limbs allowing them to go on and do another job after racing. However, the selection of horses arriving at Solwaybank that do have an injury go onto have a lighter life, or live as a companion post racing.

"Yards are only sending me horses they know are good," Kevin explained. "However, there are others that are selling poor horses and this is sadly giving racehorses a bad name. There are some people that see them as a cheap horse, but they do need extra care, work, time, rugging and feeding."

It is, however, not just failed racehorses that come through the yard at Solwaybank to be rehomed. There have also been some superstars, such as Chookie Royale, who had a successful racing career, winning 17 races for his owners and racking up £200,000 in prize money. He is now successfully rehomed in Aberdeen.

Another horse, Alben Star, was a 'sprint king' champion winning £250,000 in prize money and Heaven’s Guest totalled £0.5m in prize money over his racing career –e both been rehomed and are enjoying a slower pace of life in their new homes.

Kevin explained: "We have rehomed horses to new homes all over the UK, with most bought for eventing but others have gone on to do show jumping, hunting, polo, RoR (retraining of racehorses) and Pony Club homes – one even went over to army barracks in Germany. The trainers are realistic and only give us sensible horses that they know will re-train.

"I have so many people who contact me with a wish list, so I tend to have a waiting list for horses. When a new horse comes in, I assess its nature, temperament and what for job it would suit best, then I contact possible new owners. We also advertise through our Facebook page which has more than 9000 followers now.

"One of our rehomed horses, Glens Diamond, which won the group two Yorkshire Cup, is now a series dressage champion and is also very well known in the ROR circuit," he added.

The team has a great following on their closed owners Facebook page, a lot of the trainers and previous yard staff are on the page and enjoy following the progress of the horses after racing in their new careers and hobbies. The page also provides new owners an area where they can talk to other owners and share experiences and ask for advice.

"We thrive on seeing them in their after racing life. It’s nice to see them change shape but the hardest part is not being able to keep them all," said Michelle. "We like to only have six to eight horses in at one time as it allows us to concentrate on the individuals, but if we have too many horses in we turn some away and give them some time off and down time after racing."

Alongside helping with the horses, Michelle is farm manager for Solwaybank Farm, managing 700 acres with 400 Cheviot Mules and 350 South Country Cheviots, as well as 25 Highland cross Whitebred Shorthorn cattle. Kayleigh works at a neighbouring dairy farm milking twice a day.

"The biggest different I have noticed over the years is the breeding has improved, horses have got a lot better, their conformation and temperament are always improving. Thoroughbreds are very willing to learn, they have had such a strict routine in racing it’s nice to see them enjoying learning something new.

"Our main objective is to get a horse a good home and as long as there is racing, we will always be rehoming racehorses," concluded Kevin.