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Wishing all our friends and supporters a very happy christmas

19/12/2018

THANK YOU so much for your encouragement and support

We cannot thank you all enough for your inspiring and motivating support throughout a very difficult and challenging year. We wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Please click on your card from the horses.

Of course the Stars of the show have been the horses, who have coped so well with another upheaval and the move to The Stable Yard @ Mulsey Farm. There are so many people at the sharp end to be thanked, but special thanks have to go to two stalwarts and two newcomers. Thank you Edmund and Graham in particular for everything you have done beyond the call of duty, to ensure the safety and future of the horses. Thank you also to Melanie for stepping into the deep end to deliver such a successful fundraising event at Sandown Park, and to Jennifer for stepping up to the plate to help put our finances in order.

However, we are afraid you cannot rest on your laurels!

Winter Campaign 2018/2019: Feed shortages looming! Please help us to feed the horses!!

Global warming or not, drought this Summer has resulted in poor harvests. Animal feed is already at a premium and hay is scarce and of poor quality. Without your generous support, we will really struggle to feed the horses properly this Winter.

Our move to our new home, The Stable Yard @ Mulsey Farm in West Sussex has gone well as a result of the hard work of Graham and Sue and the small team of dedicated staff and volunteers – to be featured in our next newsletter

The good news is that Edmund and his team have achieved wonders in renovating our facilities, working around the horses.

The bad news is that the feed supply is only going to get worse and we face having to pay much higher prices to feed our horses properly with the compounded feed and supplements needed to keep older horses fit and resistant to the cold. And it is not just securing feed that is a looming problem. Straw is already rising in price well above normal, and we need lots of good quality straw to keep all the horses warm, snug and healthy in their Winter quarters. So once again we are going to have to rely on your generosity to see us through difficult times. Please find it in your hearts to help our horses by donating to our Winter Campaign.

Even a donation as small as the minimum £2 is welcome; it all adds up if enough of you respond! If you would like to make a small regular monthly donation, you can do so through our main JustGiving page. Just click on Donate, then on Monthly, then follow instructions – if you are eligible, don’t forget Gift Aid: a regular £3 per month donation will only cost you 10p a day!

NEWS OF OUR HORSES: SOME HAPPY AND ENCOURAGING AND SOME VERY SAD

All the horses in our direct care are safely moved to The Stable Yard @ Mulsey Farm, Adversane, and have settled in remarkably well during the dog days of our Indian Summer, exemplified as you can see from these pictures of our relative youngsters at 7-year old, geldings Opus Too and Radical chilling out; Opus Too is the one in the blue rug.

Here are the pair of them with former flat racer and hurdle winner 8-year old Azabitmour, having had their breakfast and waiting to get back in their paddock.

One of the last to move was the 19-year old ex-racehorse and former brood mare Jasmine Breeze. Normally she is a placid soul, but as time for the move drew near, she was so anxious, that she should not be left behind, that she made sure her feelings were abundantly clear. Jazz as she is affectionately called in the yard has a tendency to colic and for a while now has been under Sue’s special and expert care, to ensure that any recurrence of her problem is identified immediately, and remedial action taken to keep her comfortable and able to enjoy life

As it happens Jazz is the mother of the youngest horse in our care, the 5-year old filly Blossom. Blossom came to the Sanctuary with developmental problems with her knees, which meant she could not follow in sire Archipenko’s footsteps on the racecourse. Graham determined that she needed time to grow into herself before any attempt was made to ride her, so she has been fostered by Sarah on a farm on the edge of the North York Moors in the company of her firm friend and former racehorse Rupert. Blossom is the one on the right with the white blaze, in this picture that hints at the mischief they can get up to. The great news is that after a great deal of hard work, including long reining and walking in hand up and down the surrounding lanes and through the local village, Sarah has at last been able start to ride Blossom, and as the say in Yorkshire, she is doing grand!

Fafa has found a new home! Graham writes: “Lucky old Fafa has become a West Country horse as he has moved to Devon to live with Catherine. He is a super character and is always up for some fun, having come through his hip problems he is now very sound and happy. Catherine is a big supporter of the Racehorse Sanctuary and over the years has done us proud, I'm sure that she will have heaps of fun with Fafa - he's a lucky boy to have ended up as part of her family.” Fafa was trained by Sanctuary supporters Tommy and Laura Gretton, who sent him to us on behalf of his original owner; Fafa is a classic example of our Peter O’Sullevan High Dependency Unit intake, who need time to recover from injury – which fortunately he has!

Meanwhile, here is a lovely picture of Repton, or Tony as he is known at home, helping Lucy with a bit of housekeeping. Graham reports that they both had a nice cup of tea, when they had finished….tea???

Tony is well on the way to recovery after having fun as a 23-year old, trying to show he could still sprint round his paddock like a 2-year old, but unfortunately rupturing his left deep digital flexor tendon causing lameness and giving him a great deal of pain. Thankfully the team were there to get him prompt treatment from the vet. This cheeky chappy was not impressed at being stuck in his stable for several weeks on pain killers to allow the injury to heal, as he loves being outside playing all day.

Graham also reports: “Lucky old Henry has found himself a super new home with Lucy in Warwickshire. As you can see in the picture apart from having lots of fun his main duty now is to act as companion and look after dear old Otis, who had recently lost his best friend due to a freak accident. Lucy is a very knowledgeable horse woman who runs her own private yard to a high standard.” We hope Henry appreciates what a fortunate boy he is.

On a much sadder note, Graham also reports: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that we have had to say a fond farewell to good old Stone Island. Oats as he was affectionately known due to his love of them, reached the grand old age of 25 before a cancerous growth put pressure on his liver causing extreme weight loss.

Having had an eventful racing career in which he won twice and was placed twice, this lovely horse was retired and taken on by Jacqueline in Newmarket where he spent several years until her circumstances changed drastically, meaning there might have been no alternative than having him put to sleep. Thankfully Jacqueline contacted us and good old Oats joined us at the Sanctuary and it wasn't long before a forever home was found for him with Catherine in Devon.

Oats was a charismatic chap who had an air about him which was a touch mysterious and at the same time a touch mischievous. Always pleased to see you and never causing any problems, this handsome chap was a pleasure to have around. He will be sorely missed by us all, particularly by Catherine who looked after him so well for the last three years of his life and is seen in the picture having a final cuddle.

Night night Oats old boy, no more pain and think of us when you are romping about with your old buddies in the sky, we will be thinking about you, that's for sure!

We have also sadly lost one of the Sanctuary’s first intake: Wavertree Boy. Graham writes: “It is with great sadness that we have to report that on Monday 19 November we lost this very special horse; we believe due to a heart stoppage. Having had his breakfast earlier that morning he was in the paddock with his best mate Jack at the time. Just approaching 19 years old this was a terrible shock as although having had some health problems earlier in the year he was so well in himself and as cheeky as ever.

Norbert as he was affectionately known was a larger than life character who had to be the centre of attention at all times and more than deserved to be with his stunning looks, super paces and inquisitive nature.

Norbert was born at the National Stud, sired by Hector Protector out of mare named Lust. He was trained by David Elsworth and the highlight of his racing career was as a 3-year old, taking on Brian Baru in the Sea Biscuit St Ledger.

Norbert came to us thanks to the foresight of his syndicate owners back in 2008 when recovering from a leg injury. Once he had completed his period of box rest, he very gradually went through our introduction back into work. At this stage little did we know just what we were in for but Norbert had a plan which was expertly executed and never was there to be a dull moment. He so looked forward to our open days when he could show off to the public, hence to help raise funds we took him to various places to parade on behalf of the Racehorse Sanctuary, including trainers’ open days and even Castle Stables the home of Sir Alfred Munnings, the renowned wartime artist and painter of Warrior the War Horse.

Throughout all of his exploits Sue and Kevin had made it quite clear that given the chance they would love to take him home with them and in April of 2012 they made this happen; Norbert moved home to near Fontwell Park and became a fully-fledged member of the family, one very lucky horse. He was loved and cared for unconditionally by Sue and Kevin; there simply couldn’t have been a better outcome for him and he more than repaid them with his antics and gooey eyed looks when he had been naughty, which always got him out of trouble.

Norbert, with his “Airs above the ground” will be so sadly missed by so many but none more than Sue and Kevin, who gave their all to make his life stress free, with plenty of opportunities to create the havoc on which he simply thrived! Thank you so much Sue and Kevin for making Norbert’s life complete, our thoughts are with you at this devastating time.

RIP dear Norbert, I’m sure that you will find something up there to disrupt and have bags of fun with. We will never forget the fun you gave us all.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR FIRST MAJOR FUNDRAISING IN 2019

Our first major fundraising in 2019 will be our Charity Raceday at Fontwell Park Racecourse on National Spirit Hurdle Day, Sunday 24 February 2018.

Put this date in your diary NOW and please tell your friends, so that they will be able to join you. No inflation: we are keeping the day’s inclusive package at last year’s price of £95 per head – a fantastic deal for a full day’s hospitality at a top sporting event. Do not wait, go online to the Fontwell Racecourse website by clicking HERE and book your tickets now.

We have some superb money cannot buy auction items for you in 2019, including a visit – wait for it, FANS - to Banstead Manor Stud to see their stallions, including Frankel and Kingman, with a stay for two people in the Jockey Club Rooms.

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