It has been a tough winter for the Horse Rescue Fund after flooding to the stables and wind damage to the roof. During the repairs to patch the damaged roof the Trustees were told that unless action was taken soon to completely replace the ageing roofing material that has far outlived its life expectancy, they would risk damage to the fabric of the buildings. This could possibly result in a need to completely replace the stabling that is so intrinsic to the work that is carried out to rescue ill-treated, neglected and unwanted horses and ponies.

Re-roofing looked like a pipe dream due to funds dwindling for some years and with falling membership numbers and a lack of volunteers able to give their time to help fundraise for the charity. However we are in the midst of a welfare crisis in the UK and our dedicated yet small team of staff and trustees are determined to continue our work. In March a decision was made to apply to the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust for a grant to enable us to re-roof and carry on with our work. We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the grant and we will be able to re-roof the stables before the winter weather sets in.

Applying for this grant has been one of the most prudent decisions the Trustees of HRF have made in many years. When the application was sent off, who could have imagined the position we would all be in when it was granted just a few weeks later. COVID-19 lockdown has put a stop to all our planned fundraising events for the foreseeable future. No shows, no supermarket collections, no events; all in the year when, to help fill the deficit in funds we have been experiencing, we had many extra events planned to celebrate our twentieth anniversary of moving into our current headquarters at Woodstock Farm. It was a relief to know that, thanks to the Elise Pilkington Charitable Trust, re-roofing was one thing off the long list of costs for which we will have to find new ways of fundraising.

We are predicting that, with the economic climate in turmoil, we will experience a surge in cases of horses and ponies needing our help. We work alongside several other larger organisations and we are all collected under the National Equine Welfare Council umbrella. To adhere to this affiliation, we have to comply with certain practices and protocol to ensure best practice is always maintained and we have high standards of care of our horses. This is costly to us and as a small organisation we are often overlooked for funding. However, we are very proud of our standards and we pride ourselves in knowing that every horse we rescue and rehabilitate will be rehomed into the best possible environment and live the best life. This is something that here at the Horse Rescue Fund we are determined never to compromise on.

If you would like to know more about HRF and the work that we do why not support us by joining as a member and receive our twice-yearly newsletter with news and information about the yard and charity.