The Team

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

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Graham 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 class livery yard, they created The Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre. This venture grew rapidly under their guidance with over 100 horses successfully re-homed and a reputation established that was second to none; but Graham and Sue wanted to establish a facility to tend not only those horses that are straight forward and easy to rehome, but those more complicated or injured but who still deserve a second chance - and the Racehorse Sanctuary was born.

Graham and Sue have now retired from the Racehorse Sanctuary and left our West Sussex base at the end of July.

We wish them all the best for the future and the Trustees of the Racehorse Sanctuary would like to thank them for everything they have done and continue to do to care for ex-racehorses in need.

Graham and Sue have taken lucky old boy Repton and Jasmine Breeze with them, who will live out their days under their expert care. Good luck and best wishes to all!

We now look forward to carrying on their vital work with new staff but the same ethos and dedication as before.

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."

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John Francome MBE

Former show jumper turned national hunt jockey and Chanel 4 racing pundit.

 

 

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Philippa Cooper

"Never has there been a more important time, in which to become involved in the welfare of racehorses. I am delighted to become a Patron of The Racehorse Sanctuary, as I know each horse that it receives, will be given the time and patience that it needs, before finding it a loving owner."

 

 

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

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 gratitude 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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Catherine McIlwraith

"Beware of Horse, They will Steal Your Heart
How true, I have loved horses for as long as I can remember, I have been a Pony Club Mum, Matron and Teacher I trained for AI at Wellington School of riding. Fund Rraising has also been a large part of my life, I am still riding, and in the kitchen I have a photograph of The Queen still riding in her 90's I hope I can follow in her footsteps. I am very proud to be part of The Racehorse Sanctuary team who every day help all the horses in their care to enjoy their retirement in comfort and peace."

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Sally Moore

I have had ex racehorses since I was a teenager and they took me through Pony Club camps, to the National Team Chase championships and BE eventing. I currently have two ex racehorses; Mithian who I share with my husband and Jack Cairo. I rehomed Jack from the Racehorse Sanctuary and Rehoming centre 11 years ago and he has given me so much pleasure that I feel the opportunity to give something back and help others like him is a great honour and privilege.

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Susan Halson-Brown

Sue has been involved with the Sanctuary for over 15 years, stepping in to foster horses with health issues that prevent them continuing under saddle.

Sue is Programme Director for the postgraduate medical and vascular ultrasound programmes at King's College London and currently shares her home with two Sanctuary horses, two rescued collies and a very wonky, formerly stray, ginger Tom.

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Lynn Murray

Lynn is the only member of the trustees who feels safer out of the saddle rather than in, following racehorses before joining us from the comfort of her sofa via the William Hill app. She is an enthusiastic Peloton 'newbie' and enjoys a round of golf.

Lynn is a solicitor with a busy practice in Cranleigh and is delighted to be a member of the Board of Trustees for such a worthy charity, supporting the beautiful horses that have given her many hours of fun - and boosted William Hill's profits!

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Alex Chalmers

Alex Chalmers is a former Farrier Major in the Blues and Royals, Household Cavalry and has run his own farrier/blacksmith business since retiring from Her Majesty’s Forces in 1991 after 17-years-service.

Alex was farrier to the Great Britain 3-day event team in 1987 and to the Great Britain Equestrian team at the Olympic games in Seoul in South Korea. He was a member of the Farriers Registration Council and equine welfare is one of his passions.

Alex is pictured mounting guard on Sefton.

Sefton (1963–1993) served for 17 years from 1967 to 1984, coming to prominence when he was critically injured in the Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings.

He recovered to return to active service and was subsequently awarded "Horse of the Year". Sefton became one of the first horses to be placed in the British Horse Society's equestrian Hall of Fame

The Yard Team

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Nigel Dunger

Our new Yard Manager Nigel Dunger has years of experience working with thoroughbreds, having started work at Lambourne when he was 15 working for trainer Lord Head - where he used to ride schooling with our Patron John Francome! Nigel has worked for various trainers including Nicky Henderson LVO OBE and has looked after a Grand National runner up, two Cheltenham Festival winners and various other well known horses.

Nigel himself has trained under permit off and on for 20 years. Buying and winning with inexpensive horses - the cheapest of which was £1 - is still racing now! He is passionate about thoroughbred welfare and at the end of a horse's racing career ensures they go a good home if he is unable to keep them himself. Added Dimension, a winner of 5 races ran his last race aged 13 and stayed with Nigel in retirement until passing aged 28. We are supremely lucky to have such an experienced horseman taking the reins at Mulsey!

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Denise Booty

Yard Assistant Denise joined the team in 2021, having retired from a career in policing. Denise has had a lifelong passion for horses. Recently this has developed into an interest in the sport of racing which has led her to join a local horse racing group (syndicate) as an owner. Denise's motivation is ensuring these magnificent thoroughbreds, who have provided so much pleasure as race horses, enjoy the retirement they deserve! She enjoys providing the day to day care all of our horses require and is excited to be involved with a charity who can provide a second chance for these gracious creatures!

She also makes a great cup of tea/coffee!

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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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.

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.