The past week has seen a lot of media focus on a Yorkshire foal which was pictured on social media in a malnourished state, tied up and standing by a barbed wire fence, wearing a bit and a roller! Horse-lovers everywhere were outraged, the campaign turned viral and finally this foal and two other equines from the same site were seized by the RSPCA and taken to a place of safety.
A great result, but with over 2,800 horses already in charity centres and an estimated 6,000 horses at risk (Source: WHW), all of the major equine rescue and re-homing organisations in the UK are under immense pressure and sanctuaries are bursting at the seams.
Thankfully, it’s not just charities who actively rescue animals – many equestrians do, too, whether by saving them directly from appalling conditions, or by re-homing them from a sanctuary.
Now major industry brands have joined together to celebrate the efforts and successes of all those who rescue equines, ‘officially’ or not, by providing support and prizes for the Hope Pastures Rescued & Re-homed Showing Series. R&R Country Store, the Series main sponsors, are providing over £600 of vouchers, Horseware are giving free Rambo and Amigo turnouts and Global Herbs are also donating products – the prize value for the Champion is £650 and the total value of all the prizes for the Series £1,500. Rosettes Direct are providing stunning rosettes and sashes for the whole Series.
Starting on 1st April 2016, the Series includes monthly ‘virtual’ (Facebook and web) qualifiers as well as qualifiers ‘in the flesh’ at local shows, along the lines of Racehorse to Riding Horse, but for all rescued animals.
Anyone who has ‘rescued’ or re-homed an equine can enter. ‘Rescued’ includes not only animals which have been officially rescued, or obtained after being abandoned etc, but also those which have been bought in a neglected/maltreated state, those saved from being destroyed by re-training or being taken as a companion and those which have been rescued by a charity then re-homed with their current family. Entries should include brief details of the equine’s history with ‘before’ photos if possible.
The Top 3 in each qualifier are eligible to enter the ‘virtual’ Series Final on 15th October 2016, with a fantastic range of prizes including R&R Country Store Vouchers, Rambo and Amigo turnouts, Global Herbs products, Sculpture to Wear jewellery and, for the Series Champion, a commissioned painting of their rescued animal from Paintings with Essence.
The Series has been developed by Hope Pastures, a small charity, which rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes horses, ponies and donkeys, with c.30 animals on site and over 100 out in ‘forever homes’.
An expert judging panel has generously offered their expertise for the ‘virtual’ qualifiers and the Series Final. These are:
- Louise Kittle, Editor-in-Chief at PONY and Horse & Rider magazines
- Rosemary Hetherington – international showing judge and owner of Sculpture to Wear
- Natalie Duddy – Hope Pastures’ vet
- Sophie Kendrick – Hope Pastures’ yard manager
“We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support the equestrian trade has shown for the Rescued & Re-homed Showing Series,” commented Kim Pengelly, Hope Pastures’ Fundraising & PR Co-ordinator. “The idea was born from days spent representing Hope Pastures at shows and events, where I’ve talked to many, many people who’re not only interested in what we do, but who also have their own rescue stories to tell us. Rescued & Re-homed enables them to share these stories and celebrate just how far their rescues have come. Not only that, but they stand a chance of winning some fabulous prizes!”
“Although most of the entries will be ‘virtual’, we’re also supporting rescue classes at local shows and the Top 3 at each of these will qualify for the Series Final in the same way.”
For more detail about the Rescued & Re-homed Series:
- Website: http://www.hopepastures.org/about-rescued-re-homed/?v=79cba1185463
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Rescued-Re-homed-521329584711967/
- Kim Pengelly: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07887 943100