An equine charity is having to deal with a “terrifying” number of horses, with record numbers of animals arriving.
Bransby Horses is now caring for 400 horses, donkeys and mules at its Lincolnshire centre, the highest in the charity’s 48-year-old history.
More than 80 horses, including mares in foal and three Shetlands, have been rescued in the last six months including Joey (pictured, below).
“The fact that we’re still seeing record numbers arriving going into the summer is terrifying,” said Ryan Rouse, the charity’s head of external welfare.
“With the wet spring and summer so far the grass is in abundance and we shouldn’t be seeing such numbers of horses arriving.”
Lack of equine knowledge is blamed for the influx.
“Parasite control is one of the biggest problems, the basics of feet and teeth are also being ignored,” said Mr Rouse.
“The media has highlighted the growing equine crisis, but those who have little knowledge of horses can still buy three or four at a time.”
In previous years most of the arrivals at Bransby’s Lincolnshire and Herefordshire centres were colts and youngsters.
But this year it is seeing more mares in foal coming in and the age of horses now varies.
One of the worst cases seen this year was the so-called Lion King group.
The charity took 11 of 21 horses rescued from Norfolk in April, many of which were mares and foals, all of which were in poor condition. They were later named after characters in the Disney film.
The horses were in poor condition but are now recovering at the charity’s 500-acre Lincolnshire centre.
In mid-May the charity was contacted by Doncaster City Council to rescue three Shetlands running loose on scrubland on the outskirts of the city.
A five-year-old stallion was castrated and is doing well, along with a four-year-old mare and now two-month-old foal.
The ponies, named Pistachio (pictured, above), Cashew and Pecan, are now looking for homes.
“They have lovely temperaments. We’ve got so many here that would make perfect companions, ridden or driving ponies,” said Mr Rouse.
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Bransby Horses is open to the public every day (apart from Christmas and New Year’s Day) from 10am-4pm.
There are grooming days, art days and handling demonstrations for children running throughout the school holidays.
For more details visit the charity’s website.