The Sir Peter O-Sullevan Charitable Trust has pledged a major grant to The Racehorse Sanctuary and Re-homing Centre, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of thoroughbred horses.
The grant will allow the planned development of a specialist dedicated unit for the rehabilitation of high-dependency horses (those that need extra time before being able to be rehomed).
The new facility will be named The Peter O'Sullevan High Dependency Unit, in memory of a man who came to be recognised as 'The Voice of Racing'.
Jane Kindred, Chair of the Trustees of The Racehorse Sanctuary and Re-homing Centre said:
"We are overwhelmed by this grant and we cannot thank The Sir Peter O’Sullivan Trust enough for their generosity.
"The Peter O’Sullevan Unit will enable us to help many more ex racehorses and give them the extra time and TLC needed to allow them a second chance in life."
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Graham Oldfield, Co-founder of the Racehorse Sanctuary and Rehoming-Centre and Welfare Officer said: "What is the value of a fulfilled retirement for a thoroughbred equine athlete?
These wonderful animals have been bred exclusively to excite and entertain us with their racing prowess. In exchange do we not owe them lifetime care and the chance of second career whilst they are still capable of enjoying life?
"At The Racehorse Sanctuary we certainly believe this to be the case. Despite all the good things the industry has done to enhance the welfare of former racehorses, our experience is that a safety net is still required, particularly for injured or difficult animals and I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust for helping us provide this specialist safety net.
"Our philosophy is to take each horse presented to us on its merits; if we can see a way to give it a quality of life, for life, we will try to find a way to do so, however long it takes – even for the more difficult cases."
Nigel Payne commented on behalf of The Sir Peter O’sullivan Trust and said: "When we saw the Racehorse Sanctuary proposal, the Trustees knew immediately that this was a cause we would like to support and it gives us enormous pleasure to help with this marvellous unit.
"Since Peter’s passing in 2015, we always consider what Peter would have thought and we were all convinced he would totally approve of this donation."