“By taking in the destitute and the unwanted, you are helping to do God’s work,” Ms Rumble told staff, volunteers and supporters who helped raise over £900 on the day for nourishing feed, warm bedding and essential medication. Appeals are also on-going for major maintenance projects, such as urgent repairs to the leaking stable roof.
The Sanctuary was established 30 years ago by the late Olive Lomas, originally to rescue wild hill ponies and especially mares in foal, or with foals at foot, at livestock auctions from where many would be sent to slaughter for meat. Some of the foals rescued then are still safe at the Sanctuary, which has evolved a specialism in the care of older, sicker equines.
“Winter is without doubt the most challenging time for our older horses, some of whom suffer from conditions caused by previous neglect or abuse. Unless essential maintenance work is carried out in the stables soon, our older horses may not survive another winter,” said Ms Rumble.
Stewart Mackay, chairman of the board of trustees, said: “There’s a lot of work to be done, but if everyone who could give time and skill contributed to just one small job, we would value their help enormously. If bigger contractors could contribute their version of DIY SOS, then we can open our doors to more destitute horses because – make no mistake – neglect and abandonment of horses and ponies is reaching epidemic proportions and it’s desperately sad.”