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From the Horse's Mouth March 2021 Issue 39 of the E-newsletter of The Racehorse Sanctuary.


From the Horse’s Mouth

March 2021

Issue 39 of the E-newsletter of

The Racehorse Sanctuary



With traditional fundraising paralysed by the Covid-19 crisis, our Covid Winter Appeal online on JustGiving has been a great encouragement for the Sanctuary team.

Thank you so much to all our friends and supporters who have responded so valiantly to our Covid Winter Appeal.  Your generosity has been a great encouragement to the Sanctuary team, enabling them to continue to care for the Sanctuary horses during this difficult time and to maintain a succession of horses rehomed with matched lifetime keepers.


We cannot rest on our laurels; it costs £15,000 a month to run the Sanctuary, so we have to continue fundraising, so it is vital you join Mr Vitality’s 555 team over the Spring Bank holiday weekend.

It is very simple.  Make a suggested £5 donation and commit to an outdoor physical activity of your choice covering at least 5 kilometres over the Spring Bank holiday weekend 31 May.  Key to success is for you to secure 5 friends of colleagues to do the same. As a bonus you are encouraged to open a fundraising page and secure at least 5 donations. 
If covid restrictions allow and you want to complete your activity with friends before the Spring bank holiday, that is absolutely fine: your efforts will contribute to the team total.  Click HERE for details of how to donate and join Mr Vitality’s team.


Graham and his team continue to find great new homes for a steam of Sanctuary horses.

BUT first a report from Sarah, who fosters Blossom for us; this is what she had to say on Boxing Day: “Every night when I go out to feed the horses I like to just sit on the straw bales and spend some time with them, just to be in their easy company...Tonight is a bit wild with winds battering us all about a bit so I've stopped out a bit longer with them. Every night this little lady comes to stand with me and rests her chin on my shoulder and tonight I got the feeling she wanted me to stay for a bit. She doesn't like fuss but she will stay with me like this all night if I let her...however it's starting to get chilly and I'm keen to go inside and shower off the mud that I'm covered in so it's goodnight kiss time! I'm so glad Blossom didn't make the grade as a racehorse or we would never have found each other  ”


It was not long into the New Year, when Graham was able to report: “ Exciting times for Monsieur Fox, aka Douglas.  This lovely 6-year-old gelding by Foxwedge having spent his entire life with his former trainer is now living with Hayley and her family in West Sussex where he is setting off on a brand-new career away from racing. Having ran in 21 races managing a second and a third place poor old Douglas always came up against that same old problem in that although he ran as fast as he possibly could unfortunately the others all ran faster.

This won’t be the case in his new found career which will consist of some modest level dressage and jumping mainly aimed at local show level and enjoying hacking around the countryside at a more sedate pace, with which he is happy.  A lovely character and very sound and vice free, Douglas has earned the chance to go on and have a fun life and be loved by his new family, who are very excited about their future together.”

Next was news from Mel the proud keeper of good old Ballymountain Boy since taking him on in August 2020.  Although having had their ups and downs she loves him to bits as does her other horse Chance.  Mel owns and runs Threshers Barn Animal Feed and Tack Shop in Berkshire and between her clients, suppliers and friends they have gathered together a huge amount of bedding, stable equipment and much, much more to donate to our horses and which she and husband Rich delivered them to the centre.  During such difficult times donations like this make so much difference, be it a head collar, a bag of feed or a van load of everything such as this.  Anything and everything really is very much appreciated by all of us here at the Sanctuary, most importantly by the horses themselves.

Here are Sir Cozzie (purple) and Kingley Vale (blue) showing off their new Threshers Barn rugs.

Come February Graham was able top report that he had found a super new home for the gorgeous Mouse seen here with her very proud new keeper Marlea in Surrey; look out for more details of how Mouse is settling in with Marlea, in due course.

This is the lovely 5-year-old mare Sible Headingham by Rip Van Winkle out of Lend a Hand mare Emily Blake, and trained by James Eustace.  Sible is seen here leaving her interim home in Essex and arriving at her special forever home with Sam in Kent.  Graham comments: “Having not been fast enough for racing, Sible is setting off on a new career as a blank canvass as far as the world outside of racing is concerned.  Sam intends to quietly bring her back into ridden work and allow her to point her in the direction best for the pair of them.  Who knows at this stage what the future holds for them both, but I'm sure that there will be some exciting and rewarding times as the pair bond.”


21-year-old Tango came to us in January.  Originally from Argentina his racing background was unknown, but Graham reported: “Tango seems to be a bonny little horse who is very sound, inquisitive, loves his food and is a people person as he loves a chat particularly when there is a carrot at the end of it.”  This month Graham was able to report further;” Tango strikes lucky in Devon where he has found himself a new best buddy and will live his days out with George under the loving care of Claire.

This is a super private home where Tango can simply chill out with his new found friend amidst the idyllic surroundings of the Devonshire countryside.  Even at this ripe old age Tango is as sound as a bell and has no stable vices, he is a real character but his main aim in life is to be part of someone’s family and to please.
This delightful chap has really struck gold finding Claire and George; already they have started to bond - its lovely to see.


24-year-old Sally-Ann met 15-year-old Snowdrop in our paddock fitted out with our new field shelter, especially purchased with help from generous donors.  Both of these lovely mares were desperately in need of not only a new home, where they could live outdoors, but equally as important a best buddy, now with us they have both.  Both Sally and Lindy are in need of some stability in their lives; overall they are in good condition, though needing work on getting their feet in better shape. The chances are that these lovely old ladies will live out their days here with us at the Sanctuary, unless of course a fantastic home became available where the two could continue being cared for and stay together forever.

And most recently Graham secured one final move for Monica and Joe.  He tells: “These lovely two old timers Monica and Joe have settled in well at their home for life in Devon with Catherine.  Needless to say, the very first thing they did on completion of their journey was to find the only muddy spot in their paddock and throw themselves on the ground for a good roll ensuring that Catherine had her work cut out grooming that evening.

Both Monica and Joe have a very special bond which we simply couldn’t have broken and rely on each other’s company so much we had accepted that we would never be lucky enough to find that special person who would take both into their family, until Catherine kindly offered.  Let’s hope that they get plenty of sun on their backs this summertime and enjoy the tranquillity of the Devonshire countryside for many more years to come. Thank you, Catherine: we really hope you enjoy them.”



To our delight a number of artists have come forward with offers of support for the work of the Sanctuary.

Anna Howlett, Wildlife, Equestrian and Pet Portrait Artist, has done a fabulous charcoal drawing of a jockey dismounted from their horse after a race.  Anna has kindly donated the original to the Sanctuary, for us to auction to raise funds.  This will probably when we can next hold a charity raceday, but we will look to give art lovers the chance to put in bids in advance.  Anna is also selling prints, with a promise of 10% of the price coming to the Sanctuary.

Meanwhile, Claire of Cloud Dancer Photography has videoed from her drone a huge and ephemeral sand art representation of The Racehorse Sanctuary logo, with the tide out in front of the iconic Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, where Claire is based.  You can see her striking video HERE and read more about how Claire came to turn an interest exploiting drone technology into an all-consuming artistic passion.



The Racehorse Sanctuary is registered with The Funding Regulator