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Equine charities are, in the main, bucking a trend by reporting that donations have either increased or remained static for the first half of 2010.

Research released earlier this month from specialist bank Investec revealed that donations to charities made by UK adults has fallen by 9.6% during the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2009.

Though 10.74million people claim to have reduced the amount they donate, 10% of the population says it has increased giving — and equine charities could be benefiting.

“We are experiencing a steady rise in donations, but that is likely to be a response to our proactive marketing,” said Paul Jepson, former chief executive of The Horse Trust.

Donations are steady for World Horse Welfare, but chief executive Roly Owers said some areas of fund-raising are “very tough”.

“Our two postal appeals have not done as well as last year,” he explained, “but other areas are doing better, so overall we are bucking the trend.”

But he cautioned: “There is no doubting the tough climate we are operating in — and confidence is still very low — we are still very wary of how things will develop.”

And Sharon Schofield from The Brooke said that last year was “record-breaking”. But she added that certain types of fund-raising have become harder.

“We have seen a drop in the number of people whose preferred way of giving is by monthly direct debit,” she said.

HorseWorld in Bristol received a phenomenal response to an appeal earlier this year for help to meet costs during a strangles outbreak.

“We expected to raise £10,000 and ended up with more than £50,000,” said spokesman Jess Winchester.

In Investec’s research, just over one in 10 people said the amount they have given to charities this year is down by 50% or more on the same period last year, 26% donated nothing and a further 48% have given up to £50.

Redwings reports a decrease in donations. Spokesman Nicola Markwell said: “It was predicted the recession would lead to a drop in individual one-off giving and we rely on lots of small amounts rather than large corporate donations.

“There are fewer people who feel they can give at the moment, which is understandable. But we have taken in over 150 horses so far this year and we really need support.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (12 August, ’10)