This year’s Open Day was the best yet with people coming from as far away as Northern Ireland!
Hundreds turned out on Sunday to enjoy the exciting mounted falconry and side saddle displays, great craft stalls, brilliant atmosphere – and to meet the charity’s Patron, actor and national treasure John Nettles.
The morning storms did nothing to dampen spirits and before long the sun was out and visitors spent the day meeting the Sanctuary’s gorgeous – and cheeky – horses.
With ponies in fancy dress, face painting, bouncy castles, children’s games and a fun dog show there was loads for the little ones to see and do.
Alan Gardner, who was there with his baby daughter Berri, (Pictured below) said: “We’re having a really good time. Berri is mad about ponies so this is great for her.”
Hugh Nugent (Pictured below) flew all the way from Armagh in Northern Ireland to meet his favourite actor John Nettles.
He said: “I love horses and I love Midsomer Murders so I just had to come. This is such a lovely place and the horses here are so well looked after.
“It took a long time to get here but I’m so glad I made it. Meeting John has been a dream come true.”
Martine Copeman said: “My daughters had a great day there. Really, really impressed by all the animals and the staff, what a lovely place.”
John Nettles, who has been the charity’s patron for more than four years, made it to the event despite recently filming abroad.
He said: “It’s always great fun and I really enjoy meeting everyone. This year’s event was definitely bigger and better than ever.”
We pulled out all the stops this year with three times as many stalls and two more show rings being used at the charity’s Coombe Park Visitor Centre near Totnes.
Centre Manager Vanessa Apicella said: “It was hard work getting everything ready but it was well worth the extra effort. We held the Open Day earlier in the summer and made sure there were loads of things for the whole family to enjoy.
“We really hope people had a great day and we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along. It’s our chance to show people the great work we do and raise money to rescue even more abandoned, mistreated, injured or unwanted horses and ponies.
“We’re already beginning to plan next year’s event.”
Watch this space…