Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue

‘They’re happy, they’re contented, and we give them the best we can.’

Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue was founded in 1986 and is a completely volunteer run organisation. Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate horses, ponies and donkeys who are suffering, or at risk of suffering, abuse or neglect.

Who are Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue?

Chris Smith founded the organisation when she and her friend went to Henley Market and came across eight young ponies, who were extremely sick and underweight. They were about to be sold for slaughter so Chris bought all eight and set about finding a safe place for them to live. Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue has now grown and cares for 59 horses, ponies and donkeys.

Most of the animals arrive at Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue via other rescue organisations, the police or owners whose circumstances have changed and are no longer able to care for their, often elderly, animals. They are often also contacted by members of the public who are concerned for an animal’s welfare. The rescue team then liaise with the owners to ensure that conditions are acceptable and, if not, they will take the animals into their care.

Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue rehabilitate the animals that they rescue and guarantee them a safe and caring home for the rest of their natural life. Most of the horses are not able to be rehomed and so live out their days on the farm. The rescue does, however, run adoption and sponsorship schemes to help take care of their animals.

Education is also key to the rescue centre. They work to educate young people and those with special needs about the care, wellbeing and training of horses through open days and visits. They regularly support local school events and visit the local care home for the elderly.

If successful, what will you use your LoveBrum funding for?

Sadly, the winds of storm Eleanor destroyed three out of the four field shelters used by the animals. These shelters are vital for the horses and ponies as they spend the majority of their time out in the field and need somewhere that provides them with protection throughout the winter months, as well as shade during the summer.

With your help, Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue would be able to rebuild two of these vital shelters for their herd.

Cost of project


Where can people go to find out more about Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue?

Chris Smith, Founder

Tel: 07973 121 046


Follow Shirley Horse and Pony Rescue on Facebook.


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