The seven students, who are in their second year of a National Diploma in Horse Management at Abingdon and Witney College, ran a show jumping event on 14 May at the Common Leys Farm campus near Witney to raise money for the charity. The event included Cricklands Qualifier show jumping classes, clear round show jumping and a handy pony contest. Over 1000 people attended the event, which was combined with a Countryside Open Day, with over 100 people entering the various categories.
The Horse Trust, established in 1886, is the oldest horse charity in the world. The charity runs the Home of Rest for Horses in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, where it cares for over 90 horses, ponies and donkeys from a variety of backgrounds including retired Police, Army and Riding for the Disabled horses, and equines that have been rescued, neglected or abandoned.
Abingdon and Witney College student Kirstie Hailey said: “As a group we were proud to have raised so much money for such a good cause. We wanted to support The Horse Trust because they give horses who have served their country a long and happy retirement, and those that have been abandoned the chance of a better life.”
The students – Elece Payne, Alicia Condor, Kirstie Hailey, Claire Postbeschild, Elesebeth West, Gabby Burt and Adele Busby – raised the money by selling advertising space in the event programme to local companies and through entry money from people competing in the event.
“We would like to say a big thank you to all the students for their fabulous fundraising efforts,” said Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust. “This is an amazing amount of money to raise from just one event and will be put towards the work we do with rescued and retired working horses, ponies and donkeys.”
The Abingdon and Witney College students visited The Horse Trust on 23 June to present their cheque to the charity. The students were given a tour of the sanctuary and had the opportunity to meet some of the sanctuary’s residents including Shetland pony Piglet, who was taken in by the sanctuary after he was found abandoned and in poor health.
“The students loved the visit and were really pleased to be able to see where their money will be going,” said Annie Bishop, Equine Lecturer, Abingdon and Witney College.