Work is underway on a new Blue Cross equestrian welfare facility in the Midlands, which will enable the charity to rehabilitate and rehome even more rescued horses than previously.

The new centre at Rolleston in Staffordshire is set in 60 acres of pasture, bequeathed to the charity by Robert Archer, in memory of his wife Hilda, and will be able to provide care for up to 35 horses at any one time.

Over the past 10 years, The Blue Cross has seen a steady increase in demand for its equine welfare services resulting in both existing centres being thoroughly over-subscribed.

Kerstin Alford, director of equine welfare at The Blue Cross says: “The new Rolleston centre will be a huge benefit, enabling The Blue Cross to provide a safe future, through its rehoming scheme, for even more horses and ponies that need help”.

Originally founded in 1897 as “Our Dumb Friends League”, the Blue Cross worked to improve the lives of exhausted horses used for transportation and haulage in London. It also provided invaluable care for horses at the front line during the First World War. The charity now focuses its efforts on the practical rehabilitation of animals that have been placed in their care and the prevention of neglect through education.

Because of the constant demand of horses needing the charity’s support, the Blue Cross is always looking for good homes for the horses and ponies it rehabilitates. One such home was found for Amber, a 12.2hh seven-year-old Dartmoor pony, who is now much loved by her six-year-old rider Tabitha Noble.

Amber was trained at The Blue Cross Burford Centre before being rehomed as a riding pony with the Noble family in the West Midlands. Two years later, the Nobles are still delighted with Amber.

“Although I wanted a pony for Tabitha, we couldn’t justify buying one from a breeder when there were so many lovely rescue ponies and horses needing homes,” Tabitha’s mother Elaine Noble explains.

If you feel you can provide an experienced, long term home to a horse of pony in the charity’s care, contact Rebecca Wadham (tel: 01993 822454), email Rebecca.wadham@bluecross.org.uk or visit: www.bluecross.org.uk