Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak, equine charity World Horse Welfare rehomed a record-breaking number of horses in 2020.
The British-based charity reported that a record 356 horses were rehomed last year, up from the previous record of 350 in 2015.
Despite initially not being able to rehome horses during the first lockdown, and adaptations needing to be made to the application and rehoming processes, the charity’s supporters stepped up to the plate and provided more homes for horses than ever. This makes more space for horses in need, said World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive Tony Tyler. The charity has four Rescue and Rehoming Centres: Belwade Farm in Aberdeenshire, Penny Farm in Lancashire, Hall Farm in Norfolk and Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset.
Tyler described the record number as “a truly amazing achievement”, and it was all down to its supporters.
“It is also a testament to our incredible teams at each of the farms, who have continued to care for and prepare the horses for rehoming throughout the restrictions.
“They have had to adapt their way of working and, in turn, we have had to make changes to the way people apply and how we process those applications. It’s definitely been the year of virtual home visits,” Tyler said.
World Horse Welfare is the UK’s largest equine rescue and rehoming charity and rehoming is the ultimate aim for every horse coming into the charity’s care. Each horse that is rehomed frees up a vital space at one of the rescue centres but, sadly, there are always more horses needing help.
The report Britain’s Horse Problem, recently published by leading equine welfare organisations including World Horse Welfare, reveals how the pandemic has both impacted welfare charities and is also expected to create significantly more equine welfare problems at a time when charities are least able to cope with them.
World Horse Welfare’s newly launched rehoming website sets out the rehoming process clearly and makes applications straightforward and an animation (below) explains the rehoming and application process.
Rehomers receive an honest assessment of their chosen horse and their capabilities, as well as ongoing support and the reassurance that if their circumstances change, the rehomed horse can be returned to World Horse Welfare.
Most of the rehomed horses have had difficult lives before coming into the charity and rehoming offers them a vital second chance. Covid restrictions mean that, for now, World Horse Welfare is able to take applications for only companion, youngster and project horses, as ridden assessments cannot be undertaken.