Our history of rescuing, rehabilitating and retraining horses and ponies spans more than three decades.  The Mare and Foal Sanctuary was founded in 1988 by Rosemary Kind, and registered as a charity in 1992.

Because of Rosemary, more than 1,000 horses, ponies and foals in need have been rescued in the UK and 631 are in our care today.

Rosemary was born in 1939 in the middle of London, the youngest of four children. As WWII began her siblings were all evacuated but due to her age she remained with her mother while her father served in the Air Force. Often, in those early years, animals were her only company, including a rescued dog called Peter who went everywhere with her.

There were always horses in her life. As she got older, she would sneak out of school when the local horse market at Southall was on. What she witnessed there stayed with her for life. It was there that the passion to save all equines in need was embedded.

On leaving school, she worked as a secretary and an usherette to make ends meet but every spare moment was spent helping at the local riding stables.

She moved to Chudleigh in 1987 with her husband, Brian, finally able to have land and stables of her own. It was soon full of rescued horses and ponies. She often took in those equines that other people had given up on or that just weren’t wanted anymore, bringing them back to health. To Rosemary, life was sacred even if to others it was dispensable.

Rosemary was incredibly touched by the plight of the Dartmoor ponies at that time when so many were being sold for meat each autumn. She desperately wanted to do more and, after much research and a lot of advice from others already in the equine rescue world, she formed the Mare and Foal Sanctuary in 1988 and registered it as a fully-fledged charity in 1992.

Her vision was to ensure that the smallest, weakest, injured or most unwanted horses and ponies had care and a home for life.  She instilled these ethics in her children, Syra and Simon, both of whom joined her later to work in the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. She dedicated her life to rescuing and looking after equines, only retiring in 2013.

Rosemary died peacefully on Monday 6 June with her family at her bedside. She is survived by her children, Syra Bowden and Simon Avery, her husband, Brian Kind, having passed away some years earlier.

Rosemary’s vision continues to inspire trust and loyalty amongst our dedicated supporters. It’s honoured on a daily basis by all the staff who dedicate their working lives to the horses and ponies in the Sanctuary’s care, whether working on the yards or in the central support teams.


Our total admissions over all years reached 1,000 in 2020 with the arrival of Teyah, one of three foals born in the Spring into the safety of our Sanctuary.