Double donations for abandoned thoroughbreds in #ChristmasChallenge21


Every penny donated to World Horse Welfare’s Big Give #ChristmasChallenge21 will be doubled through Britain’s match-funding platform The Big Give.

During the week of The Big Give up to December 7, the charity has a target of £13,600 to raise, and at the time of writing is already more than halfway there. The money raised will make a huge difference to horses in need, particularly 15 thoroughbreds rescued from Devon before winter.

The herd of horses had been left at a farm following an eviction and were beginning to lose weight as winter approached. The landowner was able to use the Control of Horses Act, which allowed the horses to be signed over to World Horse Welfare, and despite many of the horses not being used to being handled, their round-up and removal to two Rescue and Rehoming Centres was relatively straightforward.

The costs for such an operation, however, are significant, and the horse’s removal to World Horse Welfare’s centres is just the beginning of a long and expensive process, with each horse being carefully looked after, assessed and rehabilitated by the charity for many months before, hopefully, being ready to rehome.

World Horse Welfare Field Officer Jon Phipps had been working with the horses for several months. “They were all on the cusp, they were all lean and we didn’t want them to drop any more weight. If we didn’t remove them before winter proper, we were going to have a serious welfare issue,” he said.

Hall Farm, the charity’s Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Norfolk, received seven of the mares. After settling overnight following their journey, they all had their initial health checks, routine treatments and assessment by the team of experts at the farm.

They will be turned out in a field until after Christmas, which will give them the opportunity to decompress and settle into their new environment. During that time, the charity will be assessing their behaviour in the field with each other and the grooms, Hall Farm Centre Manager Sue Hodgkins said.

The 15 horses were left to fend for themselves on a Devon property. © World Horse Welfare

“These Thoroughbreds are the lucky ones; they will receive five-star treatment from the day they arrive to the day we can hopefully find them a new home.

“We rely on public donations to allow us to continually rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses that come in to our four farms from across the country. Without public donations our work would not be possible.”

All donations as part of The Big Give #ChristmasChallenge21 up to December 7, 2021, will be doubled, giving twice the impact.

The Big Give runs the Christmas Challenge, an annual match funding campaign that raises millions of pounds for good causes, as well as other match funding campaigns.

Loading the horses, many of whom were unhandled, was fairly straightforward.
One of the thoroughbreds at the centre of the Devon rescue of a herd of 15 horses.
One of the thoroughbreds at the centre of the Devon rescue of a herd of 15 horses. © World Horse Welfare

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