HorseWorld, a charity which is based in Whitchurch, Bristol, and cares for over 100 rescued horses and donkeys, turns 70 years old on 11 November. To help celebrate, the team has been counting down some of their achievements and milestones in the build-up to the anniversary day.

The charity was formed in 1952 by Mabel Cocksedge, who worked for the railway at Bristol Temple Meads. It began life as “The Friends of Bristol Horses Society” in a campaign to save the lives of working horses who were rapidly being replaced by motorised vehicles in industry, under the banner of “Retirement Not Slaughter”, as many were destined for the abattoir.

The charity offered a safe haven for the horses, ponies and donkeys that had worked all their lives on the railways, in the dockyards, the coal mines, the roads and for the armed forces.

Rescue and rehabilitation is at the heart of HorseWorld and horses like Twiglet, who was found abandoned on the side of the road in an industrial estate in Avonmouth, are given a second chance for a happy life.

Twiglet went on to join HorseWorld Discovery, a programme which has been running for 14 years, where rescued and rehabilitated horses help disadvantaged, vulnerable young people gain confidence and life skills.

‘Fantastic supporters’

During the 70th anniversary year, there will be fundraising events taking place including an Open Day at HorseWorld on 30 July (ticketed event, see website for details). The charity is also appealing for supporters to take part in the Bristol Half Marathon on 25th September.

“We are really proud of the charity’s achievements this year, but we couldn’t have done it without our fantastic supporters who have helped us to raise funds in order that we can continue to provide care for the neglected and abandoned equines we home here at HorseWorld,” said Amy Williams, HorseWorld Fundraising and Engagement Coordinator.

Petra and Amos

“Thank you to everybody who has supported us this year. You have made a real difference to our HorseWorld herd and also enabled us to give newly rescued equines in need a second chance for a happy life”.

CEO Petra Ingram, who joined HorseWorld in May 2020 from international equine charity, Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys, said the charity “continues to be ambitious about the future”.

“Developing our welfare work to make a difference to the many horses who have suffered neglect and abuse and expand our innovative life changing Discovery Programme to help more young people and their families,” she said. “I look forward to continuing that journey and as we look back at our history over the past 70 years, we also look forward to many more achievements in the next 70 years of HorseWorld.”

To find out more about the work at HorseWorld go to

Lead image: Twiglet, who has been rescued by HorseWorld

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