HRH The Princess Royal is to visit the largest horse rescue and rehoming charity in Britain today to speak about the crisis for horses in the UK after hearing that World Horse Welfare took in 73% more horses last year compared to the year before.
The Princess will comment on the scale of the task to help Britain’s horses and how the challenges for horses have become worse and not better in her speech to a 75+ guest audience in Blackpool.
She will receive a tour around World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre just off Preston New Rd, one of the charity’s four farms across the country, to see how the international organisation is coping with the incredible influx of horses in large groups that increasingly need rescuing.
The horse crisis is well and truly upon the UK and is the result of continued breeding despite horses’ decreasing value.
The charity is regularly finding groups of horses left abandoned or neglected illegally on other people’s land – 7,000 are currently at risk of neglect or abandonment across England and Wales.
At the event The Princess will talk of ways that the public can help ease the crisis by not breeding horses, supporting and donating to charities that can help and by rehoming horses instead of buying them in order to make space for the thousands that need urgent rescue in order to survive.
The Princess last visited the Blackpool centre in 2001 and since then she has seen the centre play a central part in the local community, and in caring for its horses. The Princess even rehomed a horse, aptly named Annie, from the charity in autumn last year in the hope that others would follow her lead.
World Horse Welfare hopes to educate visitors on the current problems that face the horse world, the impact that the charity is currently having on easing these issues, and what still needs to be done - with public and government help.
Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare and vet, Roly Owers said “If this crisis is going to ease up anytime soon then there needs to be a sustained and collective effort. This needs to come from both the government in ensuring and helping enforce better legislation to protect horses, and the public in rehoming more horses or supporting charities during these desperate times.
“I hope that by having The Princess Royal here we can heighten awareness of this issue and get help for Britain’s horses - I don’t want to be discussing the harsh realities of what might have to happen to the thousands of horses out there with no homes to go to if we don’t make every effort to help save these animals that are suffering or are at high risk of suffering.
“Charities are full to bursting with desperate welfare cases and cannot cope with current numbers alone, something more has to be done,”