Telling your storiesfrom the stables to the fields

02 April,2020

The Racehorse Sanctuary announces legendary jockey and racing personality John Francome has joined the team as patron

Sussex-based racehorse rehoming and retraining charity The Racehorse Sanctuary has announced that seven-time champion National Hunt jockey John Francome is joining the team as patron. Also widely known as a highly successful author and television presenter, John’s patronage will help to boost the profile of this charity which, despite its small size, carries out vital work to ensure horses have a secure future when they leave the track. John will join other high-profile patrons of the charity including Jilly Cooper and Richard Hoiles who together ensure that the wider racing and equestrian community are aware of the charity’s aims and ambitions.

John adds: 

“The welfare of horses is something I care about deeply. I have been involved with the Racehorse Sanctuary over a number of years and so becoming a patron was a natural progression.”

The Racehorse Sanctuary was founded in 2006 by Graham Oldfield and Sue Collins, who still run the charity to this day. Their experience running the Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre gave them the idea for a racehorse rehoming operation with a slightly different focus. Instead of being under constant pressure to rehome residents and meet financial targets, which led to more tricky horses needing to be avoided, the pair wanted to start a rehoming centre that would give horses all the time in the world to adjust. 

This means the Racehorse Sanctuary is able to take on horses that have physical or behavioural issues which mean they need longer-term care and rehabilitation before they are suitable for rehoming. There is also space at the Racehorse Sanctuary for a number of horses who will never be suitable for rehoming. These two factors add to the pressure on the team, who not only need to drum up enough support to assess, care for and retrain horses, but also to ensure a robust financial position to care for long-term equine residents. Fundraising is a year-round job and one that constantly weighs on the team’s minds.

Graham Oldfield comments:

“The support of such a high-profile figure in John Francome is simply incredible news! All our team work so hard to help ensure that that every horse who leaves racing in the UK is given the same opportunity to thrive. I know John’s big personality, incredible knowledge of horses and racing and his network of connections in the industry will all benefit our residents. Thank you, John!”.

If you would like to learn more about the Racehorse Sanctuary, please click here:

The Sanctuary’s latest fundraising campaign, the Sick and Injured Horses Appeal, is raising vital funds to support long term residents who need ongoing veterinary and farrier care. Donate to the appeal here: 


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