Hard hitting campaigns, work across the globe and rescuing and rehoming horses and ponies on home turf — there are plenty of reasons Horse & Hound is excited to work with World Horse Welfare this year. Here are eight things you need to know about our official charity of 2017...

1. The charity is 90 years old — it was founded in 1927 as a campaigning organisation to prevent the export of live British horses for export. Ada Cole was the charity’s founder and was spurred into action after witnessing a procession of work-worn British horses unloaded at the docks of Antwerp and whipped for four miles to slaughter.

2. In 1949 World Horse Welfare opened its first rescue centre in Britain. Today there are four rescue and rehoming centres across the UK; Belwade Farm in Aberdeenshire, Glenda Spoon Farm in Somerset, Hall Farm in Norfolk and Penny Farm in Lancashire — home to horses like the filly Lola, pictured above.

3. In 1985 the charity opened its first international training course in Morocco. Today it works across the globe, from Cambodia to Costa Rica, with the aim of alleviating the suffering of working horses and sharing essential equestrian knowledge with horses-owning communities — whether it’s farriery and footcare or saddlery and harness making — with the aim of improving their livelihoods.

4. Emergency relief is also offered in countries facing a disaster, and where the charity has a presence — working in collaboration with local governments and NGOs to protect working equines and reduce the impact of these events on whole communities.

5. The Princess Royal is the charity’s president, and Olympic dressage rider Richard Davison is one of its trustees.

6. Over 70% of the charity’s income is spent directly on helping horses.

7. Campaigns are at the heart of the charity’s work — whether it’s to make CCTV mandatory in the UK’s equine slaughterhouses or against contagious disease. Since it was founded in 1927, World Horse Welfare has helped influence over 50 pieces of legislation.

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8. And finally… kick off 2017 by investing in a World Horse Welfare calendar to keep track of all your equestrian dates, with uplifting pictures of the charity’s residents (£7.50)

To donate to World Horse Welfare visit www.justgiving.com/worldhorsewelfare

Don’t miss our World Horse Welfare feature in the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine (29 December), where we look at the process of rehoming, and whether you could be a suitable home