The Team

Graham Oldfield & Sue Collins - Co-Founders of the Racehorse Sanctuary

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Graham has had a successful career as a lead driver in the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery, a British Horse Society Inspector, competitor and dressage judge.

Together with his partner Sue, who had successfully managed a thriving high classed livery yard whilst competing in all three disciplines, they decided to concentrate purely on the thoroughbred ex-racehorse. It was in 1996 when the great 'Moorcroft Boy' was gifted to Graham that the decision was made by him and Sue create 'The Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre'.

This venture grew rapidly and under their guidance over 100 horses were successfully re-homed during the ten years that followed and a reputation was created that was second to none, on leaving this charity was on a first class footing and capable of standing on its own two feet.

One of the reasons for leaving 'Moorcroft' was frustration, in the respect that continual financial pressure meant that targets had to be met and in meeting these targets it meant that those horses that needed time to adjust had to be avoided.

This played on their minds a great deal and lead them on to create The Racehorse Sanctuary, a facility where time wouldn't be the main factor and attention could be paid to the detail and expertise needed to not only tend those horses who are straight forward and easy to rehome, but those that are more complicated or injured but still deserve a chance.

Patrons

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Julie Routledge-Martin

Julie lives in Derbyshire where she breeds thoroughbreds and has several horses in training. Over the years Julie has sent several of her horses to be re-schooled and re-homed always with the proviso that if for any reason this wasn't possible she would be very happy to take the horse back in order to be sure that the future would be safe.

Julie's extreme generosity when we first started the sanctuary has been integral to the success of the centre and she continues to promote the Sanctuary at every opportunity raising more awareness of our work.

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Jilly Cooper

The Racehorse Sanctuary Trustees are honoured and delighted to announce that Jilly Cooper, lifelong animal lover, best selling writer, journalist, media superstar and champion for the recognition of the part played by animals in war, has kindly agreed to become a Patron of the Racehorse Sanctuary.

Jilly has been delighting her audiences for nearly 50 years. Her books have sold over 11 million copies in the UK alone, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and are loved by readers and critics alike.

In June 2004 Jilly was awarded the OBE for Services to Literature, has received the Variety Club Heart of Yorkshire Award for Services to the Media, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards. We are fortunate indeed to have her on our team.

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David

David is one of our fundraisers. He is a retired scientist and business cherub, who only discovered horses later in life through the owner-breeder clubs run by The National Stud.

Three of his favourite horses bred at the Stud have been retrained and rehomed by the Sanctuary.

 

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Richard

Richard is well known to the racing community as the lead commentator on ITV racing. He has been a racecourse Commentator since 1992 including a two-year stint for the Hong Kong Jockey Club in 1997-1999. He presented the first programme on the original Racing Channel and latterly worked with Simon Holt on Channel 4. Commentaries include all major races in the UK and has called at all the tracks in the UK as well as in South Africa, Canada, Dubai and Japan.

Racehorse welfare has long been a cause close to Richard's heart and he is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the work of the Racehorse Sanctuary.

Richard Hoiles : "I am absolutely delighted to become a patron of an organisation whose work I have long admired. The continued hard work of all involved strives to find lasting homes for horses whose racing days are over and the recent support from the Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust further recognises the important role the Racehorse Sanctuary plays in thoroughbred welfare."

 

Trustees

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Edmund O'Reilly Hyland

Edmund O'Reilly-Hyland was born and bred in County Wicklow and grew up surrounded by horses and in his early days he competed in show-jumping to a good level.

He has lived in england for over 20 years, however he is still actively involved with various businesses in Ireland as well as Poland and the UK and is a Trustee of the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund. With a number of horses in training with Brian Meehan and Simon Dow, Edmund openly admits that he has a great love for, and indeed feels a spiritual connection with these horses.

He believes he owes a huge debt of gratitiude toward them for the pleasure they have given him throughout his life hence it now gives him more pleasure to be able to give something back to them by becoming a trustee of the centre. 

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Colin Passmore

From a background in business specialising in printing for many years, Colin's love of the thoroughbred racehorse started soon after meeting his wife Pauline and has continued ever since. Now retired living in Dorset, Colin's experience in running his own business made him the obvious candiate to become Treasurer from the onset and he continues to fullfil that role today along with acting as Chairman on two very successful annual Charity Raceday Committees.

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Pauline Passmore

Pauline Passmore has spent her life with horses and is an avid racing fan as well as looking after her own ex-racehorse at her home in Dorset where she lives with her husband Colin who is also a Trustee.

She has been supporting Graham and Sue since their very early days in East Sussex prior to the development of The Racehorse Sanctuary so it was a natural progression for her to join them, together with Colin in creating the Charity and she has helped raise many thousands of pounds for the cause since.  Her enthusiasm and energy is as strong as it ever was and she regularly makes the drive to West Sussex help poo pick or muck out.

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Jane Kindred

Jane has been involved in the Marketing and PR industries for thirty years, many spent with the Vestey Organisation. For the last ten years she has been working as a sports news editor.

Jane had a Saturday job as a stable girl in a point to point yard as a teenager and developed a great love for the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit that make up a thoroughbred. She has three ex-racehorses at home enjoying their retirement hacking over the Surrey Hills.

Volunteers

We would like say a very special 'thank you' to our volunteers - without whose day-to-day dedication we would find it difficult to carry on, their help is vital in helping us with our work to improve the lives of ex-racehorses.

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Val

It is not just in the stables and paddocks where volunteers can make a difference.  As a staunch supporter of the Sanctuary for many years, Val puts her organisational and admin skills to use in a variety of ways - taking minutes at meetings, helping to plan and organise events - street collections the ever-popular quiz nights, and so on.  Val says 'helping at the Sanctuary continues my lifelong love of horses, and gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I am helping our beautiful horses to enjoy a life after racing - and it's fun!'.

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Linda

Linda has a high powered job in IT and along with her husband Carl owns several top quality racehorses in training but religiously spends her Sunday mornings at the centre mucking out.

As well as mucking out Linda collates and creates our Support Group members newsletters which is a major job.

 

 

Want to Volunteer?

We welcome volunteers aged 15 or over who are able to make a regular commitment to us, whether helping in the yard, the office or with fundraising. Many of our voluntary roles require no specialist skills or experience - just a friendly and co-operative manner.

If you are interested in any of our volunteer opportunities please contact us.