Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre receives vital help from sponsored ride

Manager Mary Henley-Smith. Katharine Meller of sponsored ride committee and Moorcroft head girl Lianne Bird

Manager Mary Henley-Smith. Katharine Meller of sponsored ride committee and Moorcroft head girl Lianne Bird with Ravenclaw, previously trained  by Emma Lavelle

AN annual sponsored ride, organised by members of the Surrey Union Hunt, has raised vital money to support Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre at Slinfold, near Horsham.

The Surrey Hills Sponsored Ride at Stylemans in autumn resulted in a cheque for £2,500 being handed over to centre manager Mary Henley-Smith last week.

The 10 mile pleasure ride with optional jumps was across tracks and farmlands with optional jumps in the Surrey Hills. Previous beneficiaries of the annual event have included the Air Ambulance service and Headway brain injury charity.

Committee members Ann Metson, Katharine Meller and Jane Williams visited Moorcroft last week to present a cheque to Mary and to see for themselves the vital work done by this outstanding centre.

Moorcroft’s mission  is to re-school and rehabilitate former racehorses that have been gifted to it so that these horses can have a real chance at a second career.

Mary explained: ” We are one of four centres in the country and although we all receive some funding from Retraining of Racehorses, this has been cut this year, and we rely even more on donations and fundraising to continue our vital work.

“It takes a minimum of six months to retrain a former racehorse so that it can go on to a new home and this year we have struggled to cover costs because of the huge increase in cost of feed and bedding. It has been a particularly tough, long winter.”

Ann, Katharine and Jane met one former John Best-trained mare, Jupiters Princess, who has been successfully retrained and is about to go to an outstanding new home at Storrington.

They also saw former Emma Lavelle-trained Ravenclaw, a ten-year-old gelding who had competed in hurdle races and over fences, with one win and four places to his credit, and who is coming progressing well with his retraining.

The Surrey Hills Sponsored Ride supports its chosen charities for two seasons, so that this year’s event, on October 6 2013, will again bring some vital fundings to this worthy cause.
For more information about Moorcroft, its work, and how you can help, see


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