Over 190 of the charity’s guests, corporate supporters, as well as Patrons were welcomed to the beautiful surroundings of Smith’s Lawn in Windsor Great Park where the day began with a drinks reception during which guests were able to meet Ollie, the first success story of World Horse Welfare’s pilot programme with the Retraining of Racehorses charity and his companion, Billy.

Following a welcome from World Horse Welfare Chairman, Barry Johnson, guests then enjoyed a three-course lunch before being addressed by the charity’s President, HRH The Princess Royal who gave a heartfelt speech about the work of World Horse Welfare including tackling the horse crisis, international training and welfare in sport. World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers then introduced well-known auctioneer, Russ Williams for the charity auction which included a wide range of money-can’t-buy gifts and experiences.

Live polo action from the semi-final of the Indian Empire Shield was the afternoon’s highlight, with a win for Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor team. The best playing pony was Manuel Fernandez Llorente’s nine-year-old gelding, Agus. The teams and individual prizes were kindly donated by La Martina, Guards Polo Club and The Polo Magazine were presented by Barry Johnson and his wife Carolyn. Guests rounded off the day with the draw of some excellent raffle prizes before heading into the clubhouse for afternoon tea before the event drew to a close.

World Horse Welfare Director of Fundraising, Emma Williams said: “It was a fantastic day which was very much enjoyed by everyone involved. We are so grateful to the team at Guards Polo Club and the support of our dedicated volunteers who made sure the event ran smoothly, plus they even arranged for glorious weather!

“We are delighted with the total of £25,000 raised, all of which is instrumental in helping us to continue our work to help improve the lives of horses both in the UK and abroad.”

The pilot project with Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) launched in early 2015 at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Snetterton, Norfolk, where there are currently six horses undergoing rehabilitation with specialist groom, Emma Sawyers. The scheme, which is funded entirely by RoR, uses World Horse Welfare’s expertise in preparing horses for new lives in loving homes to rehabilitate former racehorses and rehome them through its rehoming scheme – the largest of its kind in the UK. Ollie, is currently available for rehoming and there is more information about him and all the other horses needing homes now on the website: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/rehoming

World Horse Welfare is grateful to the many sponsors and to those who donated to the auction and raffle:

Andrew and Jane Black; Ariat Europe Limited; Ascot Flowers; Badminton Horse Trials; BOM IT; Bottle Green; Dodson & Horrell Ltd; Dubarry; Guards Polo Club; Hatch Mansfield; Hermes; Hiho Silver; Horse & Hound; HPower; La Martina, Meydan Racecourse; Michelle McCullagh, Mick Duff; Mulberry; Newmarket Racecourse; Photography by Luru Wei, Sicon; Premier Printers; The Jockey Club; The Lord Dear QPM; The Polo Magazine

 For more information visit: www.worldhorsewelfare.org

Photography: Luru Wei www.luruwei.com