09:00AM, Friday 29 January 2021
Windsor Horse Rangers has launched a big fundraising push to help its horses following its most difficult year – and a nine-year-old boy has already risen to the challenge.
The appeal, which seeks to raise £20,000, will raise money for vet bills, medicine, hay and straw.
Windsor Horse Rangers, based in Forest Green Road, is home to 24 horses and ponies from Shetlands to Shires, cared for by 180 children in the area aged 8-18.
The children can spend a day at the farm learning about animal care, riding and working as a team.
“All of our horses are veterans as they need to be tolerant of numerous children loving them and working around them,” said Karen Meade, director of operations.
“Because of this they need special TLC and our vet bills tend to be high,”
As a charity, Windsor Horse Rangers attempts to keep subscriptions affordable, sourcing additional funding elsewhere. Despite the help of families, COVID-19 has had a significant impact.
“We have never in our 49-year history had to make an appeal for the public to help us. We have seen vital income vanish as our fundraising events have been cancelled,” said Karen.
Running costs, especially over winter, have risen – feed, hay and straw prices increase year on year, according to Karen.
The impact of the closure of the farm to the children and volunteers has also had the knock-on effect of increased staff costs. As such, the charity urgently needs donations – and one young horse ranger has already taken up the mantle.
When Rory Thomas Kyley heard about the appeal, he came up with a plan to climb 300 steps at home with the aim to raise £300.
“Rory has loved horses all his life, he has such a connection with them,” said Natalie Kyley, Rory’s mother.
“He waited years to get to go to Horse Rangers and finally got a place in September 2019 when he turned eight.
“Horse rangers is such a great charity and gives families who couldn’t afford a pony or even standard riding school fees the chance for their children to be involved with these special animals.
“Rory goes every Saturday afternoon and it’s the happiest time of his week. He’s learnt so much and gets so much out of going, it’s so good for him. He is seriously missing it since COVID hit,” she said.
Rory has raised £170 already and Windsor Horse Rangers has raised more than £5,250 of its £20,000 target.
To support Rory, visit https://tinyurl.com/yxuyxbo2
To support the Horse Rangers campaign, visit https://tinyurl.com/y2sqw5sb
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