Life peer and president of the Countryside Alliance Ann Mallalieu QC has become the new president of The Horse Trust.

Baroness Mallalieu, a former criminal barrister, took over from outgoing president, Lady Somerleyton at an annual meeting on 14 May. Lady Somerleyton had headed the charity since 1994.

Paul Jepson, chief executive and veterinary director of The Horse Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome Baroness Mallalieu to The Horse Trust and look forward to working with her to promote the health and welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys throughout the UK.

“We would also like to thank Lady Somerleyton for her many years of service to the charity. In the time that she has been president, we have gone through major changes — from our initial focus of providing sanctuary to horses, to the wide range of activities that we are currently involved in around equine welfare, education and science.”

Two new trustees were also appointed to The Horse Trust at the AGM — dressage rider Elizabeth Buchanan, who is a former private secretary to The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and Peter Clegg, a professor of equine surgery at Liverpool University.

The charity also welcomed Rodney Mann, a former managing director for a FTSE 100 company, who was appointed as trustee at the end of 2008.

The new trustees replace Andrew Kendall, Jeremy Kerr and Jenny Mumford, who were thanked for their many years service at the AGM.