How Bransby Home of Rest for Horses is coping with 100 new arrivals in 2012...
It's been a sanctuary for unwanted animals for 45 years but in 2012, Bransby Home of Rest for Horse saw its busiest year, with more than 100 new arrivals. Reporter Sam Morris visited the site near Saxilby to find out more about the work that goes on there...
Abused, neglected and abandoned – more than half of the intake of horses at Bransby during 2012 had been poorly treated.
But you would find that fact hard to believe when visiting the centre and seeing how content the animals are in their new surroundings.
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Helen Whitelegg, education officer at Bransby, said a lot of work goes in to the new arrivals.
"They come here in all sorts of conditions, full of worms or totally neglected," she said.
"One of the main problems we saw last year was horses coming in overweight, which causes no end of health problems.
"When they come to us, we assess them, put them through a quarantine process and then decide what is best for the individual horse.
"Because of our name, lots of people think we provide a retirement home for horses but because of the number of welfare cases we don't do that anymore."
Among last year's intake were a pony with a maggot-infested wound caused by an embedded rope and five survivors of a fatal road traffic collision.
The biggest intake of horses to the 600-acre Bransby site last year was 30 Welsh Cobs who arrived on a cold January evening.
"They have come a long way since then," added Helen.
"We bring them in and look after them until they are in a good state of health.
"If re-homing them is in the best interests of the horse, then we will do that.
"We only re-home within 60 miles of the centre as we retain legal ownership of the horses and need to be able to access them if anything happens.
"We also run an adoption scheme which also helps us to part fund the charity and that is usually popular with the younger visitors."
The centre costs more than £2.5 million a year to run.
Seeing the staff at Bransby working with the animals, it is clear to see that relationships are built between staff and animals.
"Definitely, you can't do a job like this and not get attached," said Sandy Robertson, farm manager.
"It is a great feeling when you see the progress the horses make from the day that they first come in here.
"Some can come in totally emaciated and the hard work and dedication from the staff brings them on.
"You don't work in this area to get rich, it is a passion and for the love of the animals."
Bransby Home of Rest for Horses is open to the public from 10am to 4pm every day.
For more information, visit