Coping with coronavirus at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is following Government advice to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and supporters is paramount because without them we can’t provide expert care to the 200 rescued horses and ponies in sanctuary at our six farms across Devon.

We are also responsible for the care of over 470 horses and ponies through our rehoming scheme and will minimise travel to carers’ homes, as part of social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus, and will support carers by phone instead.

We’re also implementing work from home arrangements for staff from central support teams so they don’t come into contact with colleagues who work directly with the horses, to keep everyone well for as long as possible.

If you are considering donating to help us continue our work during these difficult times, please consider giving a gift online although our supporter services staff are working as usual for donations by post and by phone.

We are a resilient organisation. Many staff worked through a major strangles outbreak some years ago and every day we practice excellent biosecurity which we step up or down as we need to.

This time it’s our staff, volunteers and supporters that we’re thinking about. We know that the COVID-19 virus will spread, but hopefully for most of us it will be a short, minor illness and the most difficult thing will be the restrictions on movement that are helping to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.

We will keep you updated with changes through our website and social media channels.

Thank you for your continued support of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary,

Sarah Jane Williamson

Chief Executive


Current activities

Our charity shops in Babbacombe, Bovey Tracey, Kingsbridge, South Brent and our two Newton Abbot stores in Queen Street and Brunel Road are now closed as we closely follow the Government’s advice on the importance of social distancing. We are also unable to take in pre-loved goods during this time. However, we will be taking the opportunity to sort out tons of pre-loved goods and spring clean our stores, ready for life returning to normal.

We are continuing to welcome expressions of interest in rehoming our rescued horses and ponies and will progress these as far as possible. However rehoming visits to see our available horses and ponies have been put on hold. This is in order to safeguard the dedicated grooms looking after our 200 horses. Instead, our equine rehoming team will be working from home and will be available on the phone or via email to lend support, advice and assist with any equine concerns or issues, or if you are interested in rehoming.

We are still welcoming all job applications for our current job vacancies, including groom and stable hand position at our farms. However, interviews will now be carried out remotely via conference calling. Trial days will begin as soon as the current social distancing advice changes. To see our current vacancies please click here to visit our jobs page.

Coombe Park Equestrian and Education centre, near Totnes, is closed while renovations are carried out. These are still being done.

Our events programme is on hold until further notice, meaning our Supporters’ Day event on Tuesday 21st April is now officially postponed.


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Along with our monthly e-news, you’ll receive our Honeysuckle newsletter three times a year, as well as our latest appeals and fundraising requests.