Numbers are a key part of this year’s Christmas message from World Horse Welfare’s chief executive Roly Owers.

This year, 344 ill, injured, neglected and vulnerable horses have arrived at the charity’s four rescue and rehoming centres around the UK to receive care and treatment.

The charity has taken in more than 100 horses from various cases over the past 40 days — a third of its annual intake.

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On a more positive note, for the second year running, more than 300 horses have found new places to live through World Horse Welfare’s rehoming scheme.

Thousands more have been helped through the charity’s continued joint campaigning for tougher laws to tackle illegal fly-grazing and its international projects.

“With our supporters’ help we have improved the lives of thousands of horses in 2015 and we look forward to being able to offer the promise of a better future to so many more in 2016,” said Mr Owers.

“This Christmas, I wanted to extend my message of thanks to everyone who has supported World Horse Welfare this year.

“Whether by supporting us financially, volunteering, leaving a gift or your horse to us in your Will, taking part in our campaigns, supporting our challenge rides and raffles and especially for rehoming our horses and spreading the word about how everyone has a duty to help horses less fortunate than our own.”

In the New Year, the charity will be launching its “invisible horses” campaign.

The year-long campaign will focus on equines across the world who are suffering in silence as people either cannot or choose not to see them.

The aim is to highlight the plight of these horses — making them “visible” — so they can receive the care and protection they desperately need.