Equine charity ‘overwhelmed’ by support after devastating floods hit

Rescue charity Bransby Horses said it had been “overwhelmed by the community’s support” after 40% of its land was submerged in devastating floods.

The charity, which cares for 450 horses, continues to deal with crisis conditions since drain valves on its property were closed to prevent further flooding in Lincoln.

A statement from the rescue said that while it had agreed to support this action, it would receive “absolutely no compensation” for its losses.

The land affected by the floods is likely to remain unusable “for the foreseeable future” owing to contamination from sewage and a need to reseed. Bransby has had to move 100 of its horses to dry, temporary areas.

The charity now faces further risk as more rain is forecast over the next seven days.

Bransby chief executive Jo Snell said they were still in phase one of the charity’s flood response strategy, which focuses on keeping the staff and equines well and free from harm.

“We’re managing but only by digging deep and putting in an incredible amount of hard work and dedication 24 hours a day,” she said. “Trudging through mud for hours in the torrential rain and winds is inspiring to witness and be part of. I couldn’t be more proud of every single member of this charity.”

Phase two of the response will involve moving up to 100 horses to Barlings, land the charity purchased as a contingency last year.

“It is far from ready to receive horses and the sundries that are required to keep them there,” Jo said. “We urgently need help from skilled tradespeople and to begin buying many significant items to help get the site ready to transport equines to.”

In response to “overwhelming” offers of support since the 8 November flooding, Bransby has now published details of how people can help.

It said it was welcoming donations of extra supplies through its Amazon wishlist and has also opened a specific fundraising appeal to receive donations.

Volunteers with horse handling experience are being welcomed to help with a range of tasks including checking horses, feeding, administering medications, poo-picking and mucking out. Help is also required with many general tasks including stuffing haynets, sweeping and collecting supplies of shavings and feed.

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There are also 19 ponies currently available for rehoming.

The charity added it had received many offers of land and stables but that it was “able to temporarily meet the needs of all our equines with longer-term plans in place for the teams to create safe environments in other locations”.

“Many of our equine residents have specific behaviour requirements either with their handling or how they are bonded with their companions,” the statement said.

“We have many equines that have been with the charity for such a long time we have no idea how they would cope with the stress of moving or changing their routines.

“Those that are more adjusted to change have been chosen to transfer across to out Barlings site with priority areas being created to house our much-loved groups.”

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