Our History

37 years ago, foals were being sold at markets for a couple of pounds and exported to Spain or Greece for slaughter. Many died on the way. The Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies started when Sheila Richards, our founder, bought some of these foals. Any which showed potential were reared but the majority, which were thought unlikely to make anything useful, were put down. That may seem harsh but it was a kinder fate than the alternative.

The MacGregors had helped Mrs Richards from the start and, in the mid-80s, Jenny MacGregor took over as Chairman. As the practice of exporting foals for slaughter dwindled, the Society's work gradually changed. It now serves as an equine hospital, taking in sick, injured or abused animals, rehabilitating them and finding them new homes where they can lead useful and safe lives.

The Charity now owns more than 330 such horses and ponies and all are visited regularly. Our field officers are all volunteers and we have been assisted greatly over the years by Redwings who carry out many of our annual home checks. 

Thirty five years ago, when the MacGregors took over full responsibility for its management, SWHP had an income from donations of £808 and expenditure of £1,220. With cost inflation and the remorseless increase in demand for the services provided by SWHP, costs rose to more than £250,000 last year.