The country’s largest horse sanctuary is encouraging more people to take on a rescue horse or pony with the building of a new rehoming centre in Warwickshire in 2018.
Work is about to start on new stables, a schooling area and arena at Redwings Oxhill visitor centre.
The charity found homes for 30 horses in 2017, three of which were rehomed as companions from the Oxhill centre for the first time.
“Rehoming is essential to our operations as a rescue charity,” said the charity’s press officer Lucinda Sloane.
“It allows us to rehome horses who have the potential to live happy and fulfilling lives outside the sanctuary while freeing up space to rescue more horses in need,” she added.
The charity has 1,500 horses and ponies across 10 sites around the UK and 500 living out with guardians.
“We are operating at full capacity and can only take in new cases in desperate need,” said Ms Sloane. “Freeing up more space will allow us to help more horses.”
Several of the horses rehomed during 2017 have found success in the show ring this year.
Redwings Jacob, a 14.2hh piebald cob cross was rehomed as a ridden horse to guardian Rebecca Wright in March.
At his first show he was second in the ridden novice class, qualifying for the novice championship where he was crowned reserve champion.
“Jacob took it all in his stride, it is so rewarding to take a rescue pony to a show where they really enjoy all the new experiences,” said Ms Wright.
Also rehomed this year was Samosa, who joined the Dion family as a non-ridden companion to their pony PJ.
“She’s very playful,” said Jill Dion, “has a lovely, cheeky personality and is a perfect companion.”
Christine Sullivan has been reunited with the piebald cob she bought from a sale 14 years ago
Police, charities and vets had to work together on a ‘very sad situation’ involving equines in need of veterinary treatment
'Why was such a low value placed on these beautiful animals?’
Redwings Bert is another of the charity’s success stories. A decade ago this January he was one of 97 horses and ponies rescued from the appalling conditions at Spindles Farm.
This summer with guardian Nikki Rix, he won the ridden best rescue class at the Royal Norfolk Show and went on to become rescue supreme champion.
“Bert was rescued from dreadful conditions, but has now found the loving forever home he truly deserves and is the prefect example of just what rescued horses are capable of,” said Redwings chief executive Lynn Cutress.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday