Fences flattened and shelter found two fields away as Storm Henk devastates

  • Fences were flattened at The Horse Trust’s base during Storm Henk – and a field shelter was ripped from its base to land two paddocks away.

    The charity experienced significant damage at its Buckinghamshire Home of Rest for Horses as a result of the storm yesterday (3 January), and has launched an appeal for support.

    “Thankfully, no horses (or people) were harmed, but we are now facing very costly and labour-heavy repairs,” a spokesman for the charity said.

    “The hardest hit areas were unfortunately in fields with horses in them. A tree blew over causing the fencing to collapse in our Shetland paddock, and a field shelter was ripped from its base and blew across two fields, damaging more fences.

    “Despite the stress this caused to our herd, they were very brave and we are thankful to report that none of them were harmed.”

    The spokesman said its equine care team acted fast to move the horses to a safer space, where they can stay until repairs are complete.

    Donations can be made online

    “One of our main concerns was that the fields affected contained our rescues Clifford and George in the Shetland paddock, and Ernie in another,” the spokesman said. “Due to their past, we were unsure how they would respond to the stress of a storm like this.

    “As Clifford and George are still going through leading training with our knowledge and skills team and had only recently moved to the Shetland paddock, this was a big challenge for them. They were reportedly very nervous of the wind, but thanks to their training and the help of our steady and reliable former Riding for the Disabled Association Shetland Bob, the pair were safely moved.

    Clifford and George

    “Without this training, Clifford and George would not have been emotionally equipped to deal with the situation which could have been very dangerous, not only for the grooms and the other Shetlands in the paddock, but for Clifford and George themselves.”

    The field in which the shelter had stood was occupied by Ernie, his friend Scabby and others, but they were sheltering under trees when it blew away.

    The Horse Trust CEO Jeanette Allen said: “The severity of the gusts took us by surprise with the wind warning going from yellow to amber within an hour. I am incredibly thankful to all the team for their skilled and fast response. All the groundwork training the team have done with Ernie, Georgie and Clifford allowed them to handle this difficult situation incredibly well. We are relieved that our amazing team and horses are all ok.”

    The spokesman added that the challenge now is repairing the damage.

    “The labour and costs that go into repairing the fences across our site will cause significant setbacks in other essential work throughout the winter.

    “As a charity that relies solely on public support, The Horse Trust is urgently appealing for help, no matter how big or small, towards the repair and replacement of vital equipment across our sanctuary.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...