A horse and pony sanctuary based in Pagham is applying for charitable status in a bid to give the animals a secure future.
Nigel Mundy set up the Pagham Ponies Rescue sanctuary on land at Church Barton Farm, with permission from the owners.
He is currently looking after 11 horses and ponies and is now struggling to self-fund the rescue centre.
Volunteer Su Hauxwell said: “The cost of keeping these wonderful animals has obviously escalated over the years and the yard and stables need rebuilding and better drainage.
“Nigel has planned these updates, so it’s just a matter of generating regular income to fund the changes as well as finding the people and resources to do the work.
“Nigel is a man with a huge heart who has been ‘gathering’ injured and potentially dying horses and giving them a new lease of life.
“He is currently applying for charitable status, in the hope that this will help raise awareness as well as giving the horses and ponies better security in the long term.
“There is a fine balance between keeping the horses and ponies safe and secure while making local people aware that the sanctuary needs help.”
Su, a teacher at The Littlehampton Academy, became involved after reading about the sanctuary. She helped set up a website at www.paghamponiesrescue.com and the Pagham Ponies Facebook page, as well as printing some leaflets to spread the word about fundraising.
Other regular volunteers help with accounts, fundraising, feeding the horses and mucking-out the stables.
Su said: “The response has been fabulous and very positive. We have had schoolchildren selling homemade cakes, local businesses offering raffle prizes and local people making donations and offering to help with the care of the horses.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support. Ideally, it would be good if some local businesses would be prepared to sponsor a horse or pony so that we have regular income.”
Nigel has taken in animals with health and behavioural problems, then given them the love and care they missed from previous owners.
Each one of the horses and ponies has its own story. Ebony was the first, rescued by Nigel ten years ago having been found by the RSPCA, abandoned and emaciated.
Another, Red, spent many years locked in a stable and had no interaction with other horses. Having arrived wild and agoraphobic, Red needed months of careful handling before Nigel gained its trust.
Su said: “He is still nervous of many things but he has shown great improvements. He is a beautiful boy, he has simply been badly treated by humans.”
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