We feel incredibly humbled that the 600 acre site at Bransby, in Lincolnshire, started as one man’s dream to alleviate equine suffering, when he purchased 8 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, acquiring new land and facilities, 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.
The charity now cares for nearly 400 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules on their two sites; the highest ever number in the charity’s history. There are also more than 500 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 Welfare Officers rescued 67 equines, while in 2019, they rescued 142.
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.
In 2018 the charity purchased 800 acres of land in Barlings, near Langworth, Lincolnshire. In 2020 after the significant flooding the Bransby site suffered in November 2019, the first group of horses and ponies were relocated to the Barlings site. In total 42 rescued equines started their new life at the Barlings site. More in 2020 will join them as the charity continues to grow in response to increased equine welfare demands.