The Horse Trust equine welfare charity is celebrating its 125th anniversary this month with a series of events.
Celebrations include an evening at the Household Cavalry Museum on 26 May. And on 8 June, its Bucks headquarters will host a parade of working horses from the police, Army and Riding for the Disabled, and a tea party, reminiscent of 19th century fund-raising activities.
The charity is also in the process of building safe walkways around its Speen, Bucks, site to allow visitors to see more of the horses.
Originally called the Home of Rest for Horses, The Horse Trust was established in 1886 by Ann Lindo to help working horses in London.
It followed the publication of Anna Sewell’s influential novel Black Beauty.
On 10 May 1886, Miss Lindo put the first rescued working horse in a field at Neasden for a period of respite and thus her charity was born.
Today, the charity is a permanent home for 91 retired horses, ponies and donkeys, 41 of which have served their country or community such as in the police and Army.
The charity also is a major benefactor of equine science research projects in the UK.
The charity continues to be partly self-supporting and partly supported by donations, subscriptions and legacies.
Susan Lewis of The Horse Trust described reaching 125 years as “phenomenal”.
“It’s such an achievement, especially in these hard times,” she said. “We’re still who we were 125 years ago, but we’re now addressing the needs of the 21st-century horse.”
For more information, go to www.horsetrust.org.uk.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (12 May, 2011)