30th anniversary

We're celebrating our 30th anniversary as a registered charity

It has been 30 years since the Mare and Foal Sanctuary became a charity.

The sanctuary was founded by Rosemary Kind in 1988, but we didn’t become a fully-fledged charity until four years later in 1992. Since then, we have rescued over 1,000 horses, ponies and foals.

It all began with a small group of rescued foals at Rosemary’s farm in Chudleigh in Devon.

Her vision was to ensure that the smallest and weakest, injured or unwanted horses and ponies had care and a home for life. She dedicated her life to rescuing and looking after equines, retiring in 2013.

Here at the Sanctuary we’re holding fast to her vision. 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.

“I’m so proud of my mother Rosemary for starting the sanctuary. It’s been a privilege to follow the journey of every horse and pony we have rescued. “I work with some incredible people. Their commitment and dedication are truly humbling and inspiring. “Together we make a difference. I cannot thank you enough for your support.”

Syra Bowden, Director of Equine and Rosemary’s daughter

Thank you for your continued support through the good times and the hard times.

The last two years have been unpredictable. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for the sanctuary to overcome. From keeping our staff and their families safe, to selling our South Manor sanctuary, we have worked hard through uncertain times to secure the future of our charity and stay true to Rosemary’s vision.

We have rescued 21 equines in the last year – that’s nearly two admissions a month. A further 77 horses and ponies have been rehomed in the last 12 months via our Sanctuary at Home scheme. Additionally, 236 people were supported with advice, resulting in positive welfare outcomes. Of these 161 had early welfare intervention for their horses and ponies which meant they did not have to come into sanctuary.

We are working hard to provide a safe sanctuary for horses, expand our welfare outreach and advice to the equine-owning community and deliver equine assisted learning to people in our communities.

Horses and ponies are costly animals to care for, especially our rescued horses who require specialist handling and retraining or ongoing veterinary treatment, medication and care.

Read about our impact in the last 12 months.

With your ongoing support, we will be here for the next 30 years to provide lifelong, life-changing, loving care and support to rescued horses, ponies and foals. This will include building  a high intensity care unit at our Coombe Park sanctuary in the future for vulnerable horses with complex needs.

Lifelong, life-changing care and support

Pony and foal grazing in fieldInula


Inula came into our care following a large multi-agency rescue in 2019. She had suffered extensive neglect. Survey x-rays revealed a small round air gun pellet which coincided with a lump on her pastern. It was clear that Inula had been shot in the hoof with an air gun at some point in her life. Attempting to remove the pellet could cause it to enter further into the hoof towards the joint instead of coming out, so the decision has been made to leave it where it is to reduce the risk. With your continued support we will provide Inula with a safe sanctuary and veterinary care for the rest of her life.



Geronimo arrived at the Sanctuary in 2018. We could tell that he was partially sighted in his left eye, which had been left unchecked for a long time. Our vets advised that he needed to have it removed as soon as possible. He had an enucleation (eye removal surgery) in March 2019. Within a couple of weeks of the surgery, he had shown signs of improvement and we were delighted he could rejoin his herd. Geronimo copes very well with only one eye and lives a fulfilling and happy life. Geronimo is an Adoption pony and part of our Equine Assisted Learning team helping children, young people and adults.

foal grazing in meadowTulip Now


Tulip was born at the sanctuary in April 2020. Her mum, Taylor, was rescued alongside two other heavily pregnant mares. Her birth was difficult, and the vet attended to make sure that the foal was healthy. Initially Tulip’s left foreleg looked sore, and it took her a while to stand up and get steady on her feet. Thankfully, over the next few days Tulip began to find her feet. It wasn’t long until she was chasing her friend Lio around the field. Tulip is now a lively two-year-old and is looking for a home with a Sanctuary at Home carer.

Celebrate our 30th anniversary with us...

Pony surrounded by scones and tea

Have tea in the barn

Help us to celebrate our 30th anniversary by joining us for afternoon tea in the barn throughout May, June and July at our sanctuaries.


Join us at an Open Day

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes guided tour of our peaceful sanctuaries. Connect with our rescued horses and ponies, hear their back stories and meet the knowledgeable grooms who care for them. You’ll be able to hear about our life-changing education and therapy activities and have a go at creating enrichment toys for our horses and ponies.


Celebrate with a skydive

Will you take on an extraordinary skydiving fundraising challenge with us on Sunday 7 August at Skydive Buzz HQ at Dunkeswell airfield in East Devon?