Our Background

What we do at HorseWorld

HorseWorld Trust was founded as The Friends of Bristol Horses Society in November 1952 by Mabel Cocksedge following a public meeting to discuss concerns about working horses being sent to slaughter. A year later in 1953, Marjorie Pelling and Madge Checkley joined the Charity after reading an article about a rescued horse in their local paper. They dedicated their lives to the cause and for 45 years they ran the Charity on the outskirts of Bristol. 

Today HorseWorld continues to operate from Keynes Farm south of Bristol, with approximately 100 horses on grazing land in the region of 180 acres. In addition to providing a home for life to a small number of sanctuary horses, we rehabilitate those rescued horses with potential for rehoming in the region and we also retrain them to support our Discovery programme working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

HorseWorld has been involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of horses, ponies and donkeys since 1952. We work in collaboration with the local authority, police and other equine charities such as the RSPCA to undertake emergency rescues where the welfare of a horse is in serious danger. In addition to providing a sanctuary for long term residents on our farm, we are also involved in rehoming horses where they can build a special relationship with one of our many loaners. Preparation for rehoming of our rescued horses involves an extensive rehabilitation and training process undertaken by our skilled team, and then horses are matched to suitable homes. We have about 200 horses in loan homes across the South-West of England.

Horses not only provide companionship, but there is strong evidence to support their therapeutic role to improve the well-being and mental health of people. Together with about 15 of our rescued horses, the HorseWorld Discovery programme provides a safe, nurturing, and welcoming environment, in which every young person feels valued, loved, and respected as a unique individual. Discovery is a non-judgemental space where every child, young person, and horse are accepted; a place where they can belong and achieve.

Our charitable work aims to address 3 priorities:

  • Provide and promote a good life for horses by using the best welfare practices underpinned by evidence.
  • Enable positive change in the life and social skills of vulnerable young people and their families through a connection with horses.
  • Ensure staff, volunteers and those involved with the Charity have the appropriate skills and support to progress our mission.

Our values

Our values define how we structure our charitable programmes, how we implement our work and how we communicate. They guide everything we do. 

At HorseWorld we are:

  • Caring
  • Collaborative
  • Proactive
  • Adaptable 
  • Inclusive

Our ethos 

Our Ethos statements support our 5 year Strategy and underpin everything we do:

  • We will design our programmes based on the needs of our beneficiaries, both horses and young people.
  • We will ensure our approach provides a quality service which is externally validated.
  • We will make decisions based on evidence.
  • We will be a partner of choice, creating a safe community for everyone involved in our charity.
  • We will ensure the importance of nature and conservation is woven into all our work.
  • We will be environmentally responsible in our land and buildings management.
  • We will be inclusive in our treatment of staff and ensure they have the skills to excel in their work.
  • We will establish a sustainable funding model to ensure our charitable work endures into the future.
  • We will be locally significant, recognised as a much loved charity serving the South West region for over 70 years.

Our supporter promise

All the charitable activities at HorseWorld are only possible due to the kindness of our supporters, for which we are incredibly grateful. In addition to our newsletter which is distributed both by mail and through electronic means twice a year, we also raise funds via our adoption scheme and lottery. During the year we would normally expect to hold regular Open Days on our farm near to Bristol.

Our primary source of income is from individual donors through cash gifts, regular giving or legacies, resulting from the generosity of someone choosing to remember HorseWorld by leaving a bequest in their Will. This important source of income enables us to continue our life saving work long into the future.

We are in regular contact with our supporters, via email and telephone, and aim to respond promptly to any enquiries. We enjoy meeting our supporters face to face and welcome them to events at our farm throughout the year. Please visit the Events page for latest information. 

To ensure we are compliant with fundraising standards and activities, we have appointed a Data Management Officer and our policies are constructed in line with best practice. Our Complaints policy is published on our website, and we are registered with the Fundraising Regulator which demonstrates our commitment to maintain fundraising standards in accordance with best practice.