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Preserving the Past, Living the Present, Protecting the Future….


HorseWorld, the visitor centre of the Friends of Bristol Horses Society - one of Britain’s largest charitable equine rescue centre and retirement homes, will be holding an Equine Welfare Weekend on Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th September as part of the Jeep National Riding Festival’s Equine Welfare Week.

Riding for fun or just keeping a horse for pleasure can be very rewarding for you and your horse, how ever the horse or pony depends on the owner for its health, comfort and safety at all times. The Equine Welfare Weekend is a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about horse-care and just what is involved. The week, which has already attracted support from many equestrian organisations and top riders including Pippa Funnell, Tim Stockdale and Leslie Law, aims to highlight what keeping a horse entails while also encouraging responsible horse ownership – especially to the increasing number of people who are becoming horse owners for the first time.

Through out the weekend there will be a whole host of practical demonstrations and displays at HorseWorld including How to Fit Tack Correctly, Feed and Caring for the Elderly Horse, How to Spot if your Horse is Unwell, Donkey Welfare, Equine Dentistry, Farriery, Worming and Poisonous Plants. Also present during the weekend will be ‘Trigger’ a lifelike cantering mechanical horse that responds to leg and hand. Trigger has been visiting primary schools across the country as part of the festival giving children the opportunity to experience riding a horse for the first time and encourage them to take up horse riding as a hobby, visitors will be invited to try their hand at ridding Trigger.

Commented centre manager Chris Kemp “We fully support the Welfare Week initiative. When you acquire a horse or pony it becomes your responsibility 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, every year for the rest of its life. Before accepting this responsibly people should give consideration to the future welfare and quality of life of the horse or pony. This weekend provides an ideal opportunity for anybody who has an interest in horses, has just acquired a horse or pony or is thinking of buying one, to learn about the responsibilities of looking after horses and ponies.

As an equine welfare organisation we regularly become involved with horses and ponies that have been neglected or abused. We work very closely with other animal welfare organisations in the region such as the RSPCA and we are an executive committee member of the National Equine Welfare Council, the national governing body for all equine welfare organisations. Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet some of our own horses, ponies and donkeys which have been rescued from sometimes appalling conditions and to learn of their individual stories.”

Formed almost 50 years ago to provide shelter and retirement for working horses that had fallen victim to industrial mechanisation the society is know home to over 220 horses, ponies and donkeys. As well as the opportunity to meet nearly 40 of the rescued horses, ponies and donkeys a whole host of other attractions at HorseWorld include an interactive “Exhibition of the Horse” and a “Heritage Tack Museum”, a film presentation of the societies work, horse parades, children’s play area, “Noah’s Ark” companion animals, nature trail, picnic area, restaurant and tearoom, plus gift shop.

Located in a group of beautiful listed Mendip stone farm buildings, dating back to the early nineteenth century, Staunton Manor Farm has been carefully restored to its former glory and brought back to use to give HorseWorld a wide range of modern facilities, while still retaining the character and splendour of a friendly yet authentic rural environment with a charming and peaceful atmosphere. HorseWorld provides a unique rural setting located midway between Bath and Bristol, just off the A37 at Whitchurch. The visitor centre is open daily between 10am and 6pm. Further information about the visitor centre, can be obtained by visiting our web site at or by telephoning 01275 540173.

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