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Big plans for The Horse Trust's sanctuary

June 17, 2011

Britain's oldest horse charity has unveiled ambitious plans for its sanctuary, including a new isolation and quarantine block, intensive care stalls, and a horse walker.

Household Cavalry horses Elizabeth and Cornet.

Simba works with soldiers to teach them about mule transportation.

The Horse Trust announced the plans as part of its 125th anniversary celebrations.

On Wednesday last week, the trust held a parade with more than 50 horses, including active working horses from the Thames Valley Mounted Police, Household Cavalry, the Army's Defence Animal Centre, Light Cavalry and Horse Rangers Association, as well their retired colleagues and rescue horses that are living at the sanctuary.

The parade was attended by about 160 committed supporters of the charity and was followed by a traditional afternoon tea, including homemade cakes and sandwiches.

"I had a wonderful afternoon at The Horse Trust and greatly enjoyed the parade of horses and afternoon tea," said supporter Amanda Heins, from Mississippi.

"It was amazing to see the variety of horses that live at the sanctuary and to see how well and happy the Spindles Farm rescue horses are looking now."

The parade of horses included Simba, a 11-year-old 13.2-hand bay gelding mule, who is currently working as a pack mule at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray.

He is involved in training soldiers to learn about mule transportation, which is used by the army in inhospitable parts of Afghanistan where vehicles or helicopters cannot be used.

The parade also included Elizabeth, who is currently working as the Charger of the Princess Royal, The Horse Trust's patron.

Elizabeth, a 10-year-old 16.2-hand black cavalry horse, has taken part in many state occasions, including the Royal Wedding in April and last week's Trooping the Colour.

Army horse Rocket Ron, a 14-year-old 17.1-hand brown gelding, was officially welcomed during the parade as a new resident at the sanctuary.

Rocket Ron joined the army in February 2002 and began his career as a Charger in the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

He only lasted until early 2004 as he disliked being on parade and would rear, kick out and refuse to stand still.

He was redeployed to the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray to be used for riding training where he remained until last week.

Rocket Ron has retired to The Horse Trust as he has chronic girth galls so is unable to do the work required.

Joey and Disney, who was rescued from Spindles Farm in 2008.

Rosie with Angela Andrews at the parade.

At the parade, The Horse Trust also unveiled its ambitious plans for the sanctuary and launched a £1 million appeal - The Horse Trust Home of Rest Appeal - to pay for the work.

The charity has been based at the farm in Speen, Buckinghamshire for the past 40 years and over this period the buildings and infrastructure have become dilapidated.

The charity urgently needs to do maintenance work to the stables, barns and buildings and also plans to enhance its equine facilities.

Planned enhancements include:



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