Our Visitor Centre at Coombe Park is just five minutes away from Totnes and is open to the public from the Easter Weekend to November 1st.
Tours of the yard are at 10:30, 11:30 and 1:30pm and last between half an hour to an hour, with other activities throughout the day including Chester’s Trail and a guided walk around the beautiful fields of the centre.
At the Visitor Centre you’ll find our adoption horses as well as many ready to be rehomed, alongside:
- Large indoor and outdoor arenas
- A café serving hot and cold snacks
- Gift shop
- Second hand tack shop
Parking is free and our staff will be only too happy to answer any questions.
We hold a number of events at Coombe Park, including our Unaffiliated Show Jumping Series (see picture below), Family Horse and Dog Show and Midsummer Ride, and we rent the arena to local groups where possible. If you are able to help us at any of these events please register your interest here.
We look forward to welcoming you and would kindly ask that you keep to the following:
- No dogs allowed on the stable yard except for guide dogs.
- No smoking.
- Do not touch the horses unless a member of staff indicates it is safe to do so. Some of our horses have behavioural problems, some are wild – you won’t know which so please err on the side of caution.
- All children must be supervised closely to ensure they and our horses are as safe as possible. All visitors must also be careful walking around behind horses as they can kick with no warning.
- Please don’t litter. Not just because it means we have to pick it up, but a crisp packet can kill a horse if it gets caught in its windpipe or digestive system. Devon is beautiful, please help us to keep it that way.
Winter visits: Because we keep our horses in at night during the coldest months, there may not be any in the stables during the daytime – this is why we close our visitor centre for the season. If you’re interested in rehoming one of our horses please fill out a questionnaire and make an appointment first, and if you’re coming especially to see one horse always ring in advance to check they’re here.
Summer visits: It is worth mentioning that we turn some of our horses out into the fields at 3pm in the Summer, which means there may not be as many horses and ponies or staff available for the last hour. However, our cafe, gift shop and tack shop are all open until 4pm and there’s still lots to see and do.
Call 01803 866615 or Contact Us
Click here for directions to Coombe Park
Honeysuckle is our head office and rehabilitation centre, which we bought in 2005 after years of renting properties.
A real heartfelt thank you goes to all the supporters who made this purchase possible – it has enabled us to help far more equines than we otherwise could have.
All our horses are brought here, following quarantine at our adjacent Beech Trees Veterinary and Welfare Centre, and stay here to rehabilitate and train. If they are young and green they can then be moved to Upcott Park to live out and grow up.
But if old enough and suitable they are trained here to become either a riding horse or a companion pony.
It is also where our Head Office is based and where are finance department, Human Resourses,
Although the site is closed to the public, many horses and ponies move to our Visitor Centre at Coombe Park after checks to further their training or to be rehomed.
This beautiful farm is our retirement stables for horses and ponies who cannot be rehomed.
A small team of dedicated staff look after the horses’ every need and make sure they live out the rest of their days in as relaxed and comfortable an environment as possible.
Every day they make sure our older mares and geldings have everything they need from specialist medication to special boots to help the footsore make it to their fields every day.
The site even has a stable with its very own solarium for the cold and shivering to warm up on a Winters’ day.
And every few weeks one of the farm’s 23 residents has a birthday – and when you get to their age there has to be cake! The grooms make one for every resident, adding in their favourite treats, from sticky weed to polos, and the latest was the lovely Willow celebrating being 24 years young.
Upcott Park Cookbury near Holsworthy is our newest site which we bought in October 2014. The former dairy farm is by far our largest site with approximately 130 acres, which allows us to home up to 90 horses in larger herds.
We decided to buy Upcott to enable us to give our ponies and horses a more natural way of life. Many of our youngsters are sent there following quarantine at Beech Trees to grow up and settle in, with 24 hour turnout and gentle, basic training.
Upcott Park manager Tracey Dixon said: “Some of the ponies and horses we rescue are foals or very young. We get them used to being handled and seen by vets and farriers, but we also know they need to be socialised with other horses and, in some cases, just left to get strong, in a relaxed and happy environment, until they’re old enough to begin their real training.”
The farm sits at the top of a valley with amazing panoramic views over North Devon. Over the last three years we have been busy repairing and replacing fencing, fixing barns and converting them into stables and improving the site’s drainage.
And over the next few years we hope to install a sand school for training and more stables so we can make sure Upcott Park is full to capacity with rescued horses and ponies.
We’re delighted to announce the first operations have been carried out at our new Beech Trees Veterinary and Welfare Centre – now up and running thanks to your donations.
We’re so proud of the £850,000 facility, which will transform the way we care for all our horses, ponies and foals.
So far several castrations and arthroscopies – using a camera to examine, re-shape and remove excess bone from arthritic joints – have been carried out, with the Sanctuary’s resident vet Richard Frost acting as anaesthetist.
He said: “This centre is helping us deal with a much wider variety of medical issues and it has removed much of the need to travel to specialist treatment centres, with many specialists now coming to us to treat the animals.”
The centre has also proved invaluable in tackling a recent Strangles outbreak with 10 bespoke quarantine stables available to prevent the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease.
Each stable has its own equipment, including wheelbarrows, pitchforks, buckets and hay nets to prevent cross-contamination and the boxes have reinforced, sealed glass windows to allow the horses to see their neighbours.