HorseWorld Chief Executive Petra Ingram to stand down

Petra with Shetland ponies Memphis and Elvis

Petra Ingram, Chief Executive of the Bristol-based HorseWorld Trust, has announced she will be standing down from her role later this year.  

Petra, 56, has led HorseWorld through transformational change over the past four years and says it’s the right time to prioritise her family and horses now that the charity has a clear direction and is two years into a robust five-year strategy.   

Petra explained; “Since joining HorseWorld in spring 2020,we have restructured the organisation and embedded a new culture which has helped build confidence of the amazing team here.”

“Now there is a clear roadmap with an expert team in place, I am confident the charity will go from strength to strength as I step back from full-time work to spend important time with my husband, my parents and my four Haflinger horses.”

Before joining HorseWorld, Petra was Chief Executive of Brooke Action for Working Horses and Donkeys. Her decision to join the Bristol charity after 11 years at Brooke was the opportunity to focus on helping horses in the UK and to develop the life-changing relationships between horses and people.

HorseWorld was established in 1952 and today its prime charitable objective continues to be rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing horses and ponies that have suffered maltreatment, neglect or deprivation. Through its Discovery programme HorseWorld is recognised as a leader in equine assisted services and learning activities for children and young people with special educational needs. This is an area that has seen significant growth in recent years.

Petra said: “HorseWorld’s Discovery Programme is inspirational and in the past four years we have sought to evidence the value of our equine assisted learning programme on the lives of young people.

“Our ongoing work with Bournemouth University has looked at how we can increase our positive impact on the young person from a holistic perspective, and we are now exploring how the interaction between the horse, young person and facilitator can lead to such a life changing impact. 

“We are also forming strong partnerships with local authorities, the police and organisations such as The Prince’s Trust to develop our learning and explore the potential for expanding our work,” she added.

“HorseWorld is recognised as a reliable partner in equine welfare rescue cases and continues to develop its horse welfare work with interventions to improve the lives of rescued horses through horse centred rehabilitation and training. One such intervention is the introduction of several track grazing systems and in collaboration with Hartpury University we have strengthened the evidence base of how this delivers positive benefits to the welfare of our herd.”

Desi Dillingham MBE, Chair of Trustees for HorseWorld said: “We are indebted to Petra who, in the space of four years, has transformed our charity from one of the best kept secrets to a recognised national leader in horse welfare and lifelong learning. She will be greatly missed by the Trustees and her team, but she leaves us with a robust strategy and structure to continue our exceptional work in helping horses and helping people.”

Recruitment for the Chief Executive post at HorseWorld is underway, with a handover of responsibilities anticipated for autumn 2024.