Over 1800 visitors enjoy charity Open Day
Visitors flocked to a farm in Whitchurch on Saturday to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of a local horse rescue charity. HorseWorld’s Open Day welcomed over 1800 horse lovers who enjoyed a day of demonstrations, tours and were able to meet many of the rescued horses that live there. They were able to learn about the troubled past and promising future of the now rehabilitated equines.
HorseWorld Trust was founded in Bristol in 1952 by a lady who worked for Temple Meads Railway Station in Bristol called Mabel Cocksedge. She was worried what would happen to the railway horses when the stables closed. All over the country, working horses were being replaced by vehicles and machinery at a rapid pace and the future for these hard-working and loyal animals was looking bleak. Mabel and a small group of friends, formed The Friends of Bristol Horses Society (later to become HorseWorld) to save working horses from slaughter.
Now, 70 years on, HorseWorld continue to rescue horses but for different reasons. Record numbers of horses are being abandoned, cruelly treated and neglected. The need for the charity’s work has never been greater.
“Our supporters are so incredibly important to us” said HorseWorld’s Fundraising and Engagement Coordinator, Amy Williams. “We couldn’t do any of this without them, they literally enable all of this rescue work to happen. To be able to open up the farm and show people these beautiful, fit and healthy horses with their whole lives ahead of them alongside the heart-wrenching images of their horrendous condition on arrival is so rewarding.
“We had many wonderful, positive comments from people who enjoyed the day. It’s events like this that spur our staff and volunteers on through the darker times when we aren’t sure if we are going to be able to save a new arrival. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Among the horses that visitors were able to meet was Twiglet, a horse rescued with a fractured back and neck. The young horse was found collapsed in the road in the middle of the night on a busy industrial estate in Avonmouth. He was emaciated and barely alive. Now fully rehabilitated and a picture of health, he has proved to be one of the most popular of HorseWorld’s residents.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service gave a fascinating demonstration showing how they rescue horses and large animals from ditches and precarious situations using their fully articulated model horse.
Also in the line up for the day was Dime, a Shire Horse rescued and rehabilitated by HorseWorld who has now gone on to be rehomed into a loving loan home. Dime came back for the day along with her companion to show off their skills as working horses.
“It was our first Open Day in 3 years due to the Pandemic” said HorseWorld’s CEO, Petra Ingram. “We were buzzing with excitement at the prospect of inviting our supporters in and we weren’t disappointed. It was great to finally meet horse lovers from across the Bristol area as we opened our site and gave our visitors a behind the scenes experience. I hope they tell their friends and families about HorseWorld and hopefully they will all come back when we hold our events next year. We were very happy to get back to a feeling of normality.”
Article by: Amy Williams
Posted on: 2nd August 2022