As Bransby Horses approaches its 50th Anniversary year and we look back at what has been achieved, we feel incredibly humbled that the 600 acre site started as one man’s dream to alleviate equine suffering, when he purchased eight acres in the hamlet of Bransby in 1968.
Charity founder, Mr Peter Hunt, rescued his first horse in 1947. Sally was a four-year-old mare who was kept near a bombsite in South London. She was found tearing about with a tyre around her neck after the furniture van she was kept in had overturned in a storm. Peter rescued the young mare and when he moved to Bransby, Lincolnshire, to start the charity in 1968, Sally came too. One of the first horses rescued by the charity was a blind grey mare called Faith. Sally and Faith became firm friends.
The charity has grown significantly over the last five decades and is now one of the largest equine welfare charities in the UK, dedicated to improving equine welfare through rescue, rehabilitation, rehoming, education and providing a safe haven.
At our Lincolnshire Centre we are now caring for more than 400 horses, donkeys and mules; the highest ever number in the charity’s history. With a second site in Herefordshire, the charity cares for more than 500 equines in total and has more than 350 out in foster homes under the Friend for Life rehoming scheme.
In recent years, the demand for rescue has seen a dramatic increase for various reasons, including a lack of knowledge and financial hardship. In 2013 Field Officers rescued 67 equines, while in 2016, they rescued 144.
Thanks to public donations and legacies, a specialist quarantine unit (the Animal Reception Centre) was opened in 2013, at the Lincoln site, to improve biosecurity and to enable the charity to better cope with the influx of equines in desperate need of help.