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From the Horse's Mouth Issue 33 of the E-newsletter of The Racehorse Sanctuary.


From the Horse’s Mouth

Easter 2019, Issue 33 of the E-newsletter of The Racehorse Sanctuary




SPRING is here and we launch our call for new Friends of The Racehorse Sanctuary.  

Thank you to our existing Friends and Supporters for their continued encouragement of our important work.  We wish you all a very Happy Easter : please click on your card from all the Sanctuary horses

Much as we appreciate our old friends, we are also looking for new formal Friends, and lots of them.  As Spring works its magic, we are launching our call for as many of you as possible, who have not already committed to monthly donations to the charity, to sign up to at least a monthly donation of £3 to qualify formally as a Friend of The Racehorse Sanctuary.  That is only 10p a day, but enough of you can make a huge difference to our finances, especially important as we roll out our new Enhanced Fostering Scheme.


ANOTHER important innovation in racehorse rehabilitation.  

At The Racehorse Sanctuary we have had to innovate.  How else could we punch above our weight in today’s challenging environment?  For a number of years now, Graham and Sue have used their networks to enhance the throughput of horses towards new homes for life, by fostering out horses that have completed their rehabilitation at the Sanctuary. As we focus on the more challenging cases, rehabilitation takes time.  We are also very particular about matching horses to their new homes and keepers, to ensure they will bond for life; this also takes time.  Fostering with experienced equestrians is a great help with our throughput and is very cost-effective for us, as fosters do not charge for the opportunity costs of their facilities.  There is a risk for fosterers of course, in that they fall in love with their charge and apply to keep them for ever!  Definitely a risk here for Sarah, seen here with her charge Blossom. We still receive almost daily requests to help horses likely to prove easy to rehabilitate.  Hence the introduction of our Enhanced Fostering Scheme.  We are recruiting experienced equestrians with suitable facilities, willing and able to start and even complete rehabilitation for us, before we seek forever loving homes.  If you feel you have the skills and experience, and would like to join our extended team, please get in touch with Graham on: 07710 904189.



As with humans, we seem to lose more in Winter.  

Just after Christmas we bid a sad farewell to the Sanctuary’s leading lady: Zigaura 1988 – 2019 by Ziggy’s Boy out of Our Feast; poster girl of our current Winter Campaign.

Graham writes: “It was in the dead of night in a lorry park on 6 September 2009 that we first met Zigaura when she stumbled off of a huge container lorry that had been carrying 12 horses.  She was the only one left on board having completed a five-day trip covering several countries.  After a quick wash-down and freshen up followed by a small feed she was soon munching her way through her hay net before being tucked up in a super cosy deep straw bed for a well-earned night’s sleep; she didn’t argue with any of this.
Early the next day Ziggy was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed and more than ready to take on the world and whatever it could throw at her.  Her first task was to make sure that we all well and truly knew our place when in her company and that we treated her with the respect that she had not only earned over the years but thoroughly deserved.  Still in isolation our vet Tony examined her and found that she had several sarcoids on her chest, withers and stomach (treatable), a low grade hollow systolic murmur (fairly common) and that she was still producing milk for her last foal.  Amazingly, though Ziggy was lacking in weight she was in surprisingly good health.

Ziggy made it perfectly clear from day one that she valued her own space and was not one to be messed with, either you did the job properly or paid the price and this applied to all who had dealings with her.  Hence for the first few months only Sue and I dealt with her on a daily basis. 

It didn’t take long for Ziggy to blossom and when in full health what an absolutely magnificent specimen of a thoroughbred she was, her coat gleamed, her paces were extravagant and she had a twinkle in her eye accompanied by the occasional glare which constantly kept us all on our toes.

In her racing days she won at Goodwood and was placed in four group races, she then travelled the world as a brood mare. Thanks to the sheer determination of her previous owner who tracked her down in Spain and had to purchase her in order to bring her home, Ziggy has spent her final ten years with us at the Sanctuary.

Our leading lady Ziggy has been an inspiration to us all and it has been an honour to be allowed to care for her during her twilight years: she was wise, feisty and very attractive but above all she was not only a part of our family but our a true friend.
All the aches pains and tiredness has now stopped Ziggy and you can catch up with Mr M and his buddies up there in horsey heaven and reminisce (we know you always had a thing about him but were too aloof to admit it).  Sleep tight our beautiful girl, our time together will be treasured and we will always be thinking of you with love in our hearts and a tear in our eye.”

Sadly, come February, Graham had to report:  “Regretfully we have had to say a final goodbye to dear old Oriental Express, by Green Desert out of City Fortress, 1993 – 2019.  His demise was due to a tumorous growth that simply couldn’t be halted despite much veterinary advice.
An absolute super star during his racing days when he was placed in three Group races in England and France before being shipped out to Hong Kong where he really came into his own winning in excess of £1.5 million, including the Queen Elizabeth Cup and the Hong Kong Champions Cup two years in succession.

The last seven years of Orry’s life was spent in the lap of luxury being cared for by Ruth in Essex where he was acting as a companion to her mare Sally Anne.  Needless to say, he was in his element with his good looking girl-friend, luscious grass in post and railed paddocks in the summer, whilst being groomed and tucked up in bed at night throughout the winter months. 
We will all miss Orry so much: he was bolshie, self-opinionated and cantankerous, but he was our Orry and we loved him to bits.  Sleep tight old boy, you will always be in our thoughts.”

We have been overwhelmed by condolences on social media for our sad loss of Oriental Express.  His exploits live on in the memories of his admirers.  Thank you so much to all his fans, especially those in Hong Kong, who have contacted us about a much-loved and admired favourite.

Sadly, we are now entering an era when many of our horses re-homed over the years are in the twilight of their lives, unfortunately they cannot go on forever.   Come March Graham had to report: “Sadly I have to tell you that dear old Harry (26 years young) having enjoyed his breakfast and a kick and a buck when turned out as he did daily, passed away peacefully in his paddock due to a heart stoppage. 

Harry was such a gentleman in every respect and an absolute rock for the past nine years to his elderly keeper Sally who recently lost her husband, our thoughts are with you Sally.
RIP dear old Harry, there is a special place for special horses like you up there, sleep tight old boy.” 


At least not yet: Both Freddie and Dudley have returned to the fold after 12 happy years with Sue in Essex.  Graham reports: “Sadly Sue has serious health issues and much to her dismay felt that in the horses’ best interest the only course to take was to return them both to the Sanctuary, knowing that they would be thoroughly cared for.

At 25 and 24 years old respectively these two old boys are well in themselves, having been so well looked after.  Although a touch bemused with their new surroundings, at least they are still together and have settled in remarkable well at Mulsey Farm.
Both Dudley and Freddie are tough characters who have been there and seen it all over the years.  Usually at this age we wouldn't consider looking for a new home, but due to their outgoing attitude and the bond they have built up over the years, providing it was a super home and they could stay together we might consider making them an exception to the rule.  More realistically unless a "Home from Heaven" turns up in the near future, rather than another relocation, they will live out their days with us as best buddies.”







These photos from our database are from their salad days.  If you want a pic of them as they are now at Mulsey Farm, do get in touch with Graham; or leave a message with your JustGiving donation!



Amazon Smile: fundraising provides the lifeblood of our charity, if you can, please help in any way you can.   CLICK HERE FOR MORE….

The Racehorse Sanctuary has signed up for AMAZON SMILE.  Please place your on-line orders through the Amazon Smile website: choose our charity and we will receive a 0.5% donation AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU!  Thank you.

After the equine flu virus crisis, we were so relieved when racing was resumed and we were able to go ahead with our Fontwell Park Raceday on National Spirit Hurdle Day.

As it turned out we had a glorious sunny day, a best ever turnout and a fantastic afternoon’s racing.  All our guests had a great time and thanks to the sterling efforts of our compère Colin Brown our live auction met its target.  What a difference the sun makes, but we have to thank the raceday planning committee and all the volunteers, who worked so tirelessly to make the event a success; we also thank all those generous donors of auction items.  Our special thanks go to The Reuben Foundation for their continued support of this event, so important to the Sanctuary’s fundraising efforts.

A big thank you to Lucy, who works with the horses at The Stable Yard, for her sterling efforts in securing sponsorship for her recent 5-km Inflatable challenge, with her other half, at Farnborough. Her JustGiving page is still open, if you would like to make a donation in recognition of her efforts.

Meanwhile, if you would like to take on a cycling challenge and raise funds for The Racehorse Sanctuary, why not apply for a place by means of:

The 2019 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 Ballot

This ballot closes Friday 10 May 2019 – Good luck!


Your planning committee is negotiating a deal, which will allow us to hold our next major fundraising in the form of our popular Charity Raceday at Sandown Park Racecourse.  We hope to be able to share full details with you before long.

Please put the date of Wednesday 18 September in your diary NOW and please tell your friends, so that they will be able to join you.  We will have some superb money cannot buy auction items for you: watch this space.