Blue Cross – HOYS Charity of the Year 2023

Blue Cross – HOYS Charity of the Year 2023

National charity Blue Cross was originally set up in 1897 with the purpose to help street horses in London.

Through the First and Second World Wars, the charity treated horses who were injured on the frontline.

Fast forward to today and the charity continues to help, rehabilitate and find new homes for horses and ponies at its two rehoming centres in Burford, Oxfordshire and Rolleston in Staffordshire.

The team also helps to find horses in private homes across the country new homes with its Home Direct scheme, which sees the horse rehomed direct from its home rather than coming into one of the rehoming centres.

Bramble’s owner contacted us to ask for our help through our Home Direct scheme as he had sadly received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Bramble was a sweet mare although she has lapsed on some of her routine care such as having her feet regularly trimmed due to her owner’s ill health. The team found Bramble a lovely new home and we were able to provide her owner with the comfort of knowing his beloved horse would be loved and taken care of.

This allows vital spaces at the centres to be available for horses who are urgently in need. Blue Cross works routinely with other charities including RSPCA, World Horse Welfare and Redwings to help horses in need, often welfare cases and animals who have been found flygrazing.

Whether the horse is being helped through Home Direct, or coming into one of the rehoming centres, every horse is assessed thoroughly by a member of the Blue Cross horse unit team and then when the animal is ready to find a new home, advertised on the charity’s website

Once a potential new owner has been found, Blue Cross will arrange and oversee initial meets with the animal. If it’s a good match, the horse will then go off to their new forever home.

An army of volunteers also helps the horse team – from foster carers who take the horses into their care while the charity finds new homes for them; to volunteers who help out in the stables at the charity’s Burford and Rolleston sites.

So far this year the team has helped 218 horses.

Vicki Alford, Centre Manager at Blue Cross in Burford, said: “We receive daily emails and calls from owners who are unable to keep their horses any longer for a variety of reasons such as the owner’s failing health or job loss.

“We work with these owners to find loving new homes for their animals, as well as with charities such as RSPCA and Redwings to help rehabilitate and find new homes for horses who may not have had the best start in life.”

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