The horse is incredibly photogenic: those soulful eyes, the curled lip, the expressive ears, the noble head and the graceful body of a flight animal. The noblest and most photogenic horse is the thoroughbred; we love them, especially for their ability to thrill us racing.
As with all human endeavour, there is a darker side to this sport. In the thrill of competition not enough consideration is always given to those horses, who do not make the grade, or are injured or reach the end of their days as an athlete, with half a lifetime or more in front of them. With over 4,000 horses leaving UK racing annually, this is a significant challenge.
The Racehorse Sanctuary is one of a number of initiatives providing a safety net for those unfortunate animals, who do not have a secure future, by offering rehabilitation and arranging rehoming for life.
The Sanctuary is special, setting industry standards in addressing the needs of the challenging cases: those horses that need more time and applied skill to recover from physical or mental injury. When rehoming our charges, we focus on matching the needs and abilities of horse and keeper to optimise outcomes.
Above all we offer sanctuary from the danger that they may be put down for economic or social reasons. Or worse still, get passed down to owners who are unable to look after them properly, neglect, abandon or abuse them, or export them illegally for slaughter.
This is expensive, which is why we have to rely so heavily on those generous individuals, who see the thoroughbred as we do: as deserving of a quality of life for life.