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Spindles Farm horses in meet and greet

May 28, 2010

People who want to meet some of the horses rescued from Spindles Farm in the biggest equine rescue in British history are being given the chance during an upcoming school holiday.

More than 100 horses were seized from the Buckinghamshire property early in 2008 and were fostered out to several charities.

Earlier this month, the owners of Spindles Farm, the Gray family, had most of their convictions for animal welfare offences upheld by Bicester Magistrates Court.

However, horse trader James Gray fled from court while awaiting sentencing, but was arrested on Wednesday and was early today (NZ time) sent to jail. He has begun an eight-month jail term, having had two months added to his sentence.

The Horse Trust is planning a variety of activities at its Home of Rest for Horses at Speen, in Buckinghamshire, during next week's half-term school break.

Starting on Monday, May 31, and continuing until Sunday, June 6, the sanctuary will be running daily parades through its courtyard at 3.30pm. The parades will give the public a chance to see up-close the sanctuary's residents, including some of the 11 horses, ponies and donkeys rescued from Spindles Farm.

People will get a chance to meet the Spindles Farm horses and chat to the grooms about what they are like to look after and their personalities.

For example, Disney, who was underweight and suffering from a salmonella infection when he arrived from Spindles Farm, is now almost double his original weight and a picture of health.

Disney's groom, Lucy Twiss, says: "Disney is really cheeky and inquisitive - he wants to look at everything! He loves his food and getting attention from people. Unfortunately we can't use him for visitor demos as he's quite mouthy."

As well as the parades, staff at the sanctuary will be running various activities between 2pm and 4pm, including bathing demonstrations and "have a go at grooming" sessions.

On Wednesday, June 2, Gladys, a jenny donkey rescued from Spindles Farm, will be getting a haircut. Gladys was so underweight when she arrived that she was unable to stand unaided for 10 days. She has now fully recovered and loves meeting visitors to The Horse Trust.

The Horse Trust's Home of Rest for Horses is open every day of the week from 2pm to 4pm. Entrance to the sanctuary is free, but donations are welcomed to enable the charity to meet running costs.

The sanctuary has spent an estimated £200,000 over the last 17 months looking after the horses, ponies and donkeys from Spindles Farm. This includes the cost of food, bedding, veterinary and farrier treatment.



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