Hugo and Gabriel both needed urgent care

Will you be there for horses and ponies in greatest need?

Hugo and Gabriel were found severely underweight and suffering with sores when we rescued them in June 2022. We were shocked to find these two magnificent Andalusian horses in this state.

These beautiful horses lived in the South West of England with an owner experiencing difficult circumstances. Our Welfare Outreach team worked hard to secure the best outcome for Hugo and Gabriel from start to finish, with assistance from the RSPCA to help us intervene as their welfare situation worsened. The pair were in urgent need of sanctuary.

Hugo and Gabriel’s situation shows that when an owner’s personal circumstances change unexpectedly caring for equines can become an overwhelming task. This is why we exist and why we need YOU. Together we can help horses and their owners in times of need.

It was a shocking case

Both horses needed a high level of care at our Beech Trees Veterinary and Welfare Assessment Centre.

Hugo was malnourished with a Body Condition Score of 1 (poor) on arrival at the sanctuary. He had scarring and sores across his body, particularly over his prominent pelvic bones, stifle, elbow and shoulder, but also over his ribs. All four of his hooves were overgrown and needed treatment. He was very nervous whenever we needed to handle him.

His close companion Gabriel was also underweight with a Body Condition Score of 2 (moderate) on arrival.

Despite Hugo being in the worst condition on arrival it was Gabriel who took longer to recover. Gabriel had been struggling with ongoing eye issues which we monitored closely. He was also extremely nervous about having his feet checked by the farrier.

Hugo and Gabriel are safe now, but it could have been a very different story. If they had not been rescued, then they would have continued to deteriorate.

There are more horses and ponies that need your help

For us, it has been unusual to intervene in a case involving Andalusian horses, which are for many people a dream horse of a lifetime. To find horses like Hugo and Gabriel in this shocking state is indicative of the troubles that some owners are now facing.

Hugo and Gabriel needed us, and many more horses and ponies need our help too. The sanctuary is currently at capacity and our Welfare Outreach team are dealing with a high number of ongoing cases to help support struggling owners.

Two Andalusian horses

people received advice through our helpline service in 2022. This supported 83 equines.


outreach visits were carried out in 2022 supporting 568 equines belonging to 66 people. 66% of these equines were considered at severe or moderate risk.


multiagency welfare lifts in 2022 supporting 177 equines.

How you could help us plan for the future

By setting up a Direct Debit you are helping us to plan more effectively for the future of the charity and for the horses and ponies within our care. Each of our equines have a sanctuary for life with us. With over 600 equines under our care, we need to have the resources to care for them, from feed and farrier care to vet visits and medications. We also need to be able to rescue more equines who need our help. So please, if you can, help give our horses and ponies the future the deserve. Start a monthly donation today.

Set-up a Direct Debit