At the beginning of August, I made contact with the sales team at Rowen Barbary, linking in with Becky. I was making a tentative enquiry to see if they might consider making a small feed donation to the following equine charity:
Brantome Police Horse Rescue, La Grange, St. Pancrace, Near Brantome, 24530, Dordogne, France.
I first visited BPH in the summer of 2017 and was absolutely overwhelmed, having not previously been aware of its existence. The scheduled event that I attended commenced with a film about the working life of the British Police horses, which touchingly depicted how many of the noble creatures ultimately develop mental and / or physical breakdowns due to situations they experience within their active service, on the frontline, serving the British public. The film continues by explaining how the charity came in to being and describes some of the amazing and tireless work undertaken by a small few who dedicate their lives to these unsung heroes.
Following this incredibly moving footage, the visitors were given a detailed introduction to some of the lucky residents, who were patiently awaiting some ‘fuss’ from the assembled crowd and we were allowed to make friends with each horse.
One of the recipients of this fuss and attention was Lewis, an 18’ 2h former Metropolitan Police Horse, who had suffered a mental breakdown at an early stage of his career, during riots where he was targeted by rioters who deliberately smashed away his face guard protection, leaving him vulnerable and terrified. Interestingly and incredibly moving, one of the other horses on duty in line with Lewis on that day, Galipoli, sensed his anxiety and actually stepped out of formation and angled himself to protect / shield Lewis from the angry crowd. This was captured in the aforementioned film and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!!
Lewis on the lookout for some fuss!
Lewis and friend – previous traumas thankfully a distant memory!
The Charity is run tirelessly by Roland and Alison Phillips, their close family and an incredible team of loyal and much needed volunteers.
The story of how BPH came to be in existence is an incredible one in itself and for me, compounds just how incredible and selfless Roland and Alison actually are, as they ‘inherited’ this way of life and have dedicated themselves to providing an absolute haven of paradise for these deserving, amazing creatures.
When I stumbled across the charity last year, they had a 27 year old veteran Clydesdale gelding called Copperfield who they had concerns about in respect of weight loss and associated condition.
When I went back at Christmas, whilst on holiday in France, I took some Rowan Barbary Solution Mash for them to try. I recommended this, as my 29 year old Belgian Warmblood Rebel, who had no top teeth, was an ambassador for it. He only retired from riding in May 2018 and sadly passed away in his sleep in September 2018, but this photograph was taken 6 days before his death and is testament to the benefits of the Rowan Barbary range for maintaining condition on big, old horses.
Rebel at 29 years 9 months – a ‘spokes horse’ for the benefits of Solution Mash!!
Upon contacting Rowan Barbary, Becky unbelievably offered to donate 15 bags of Solution Mash, to which I matched a further 15.
These 30 sacks of feed were eagerly collected from the Target Feeds Mill in Shropshire on Monday 13 August:
Our trusted courier, Phil METCALFE, who was an excellent find, through the ANY VAN site (07718 242621), picked up the feed from our address in Warwickshire on Sunday 19 August and delivered it to BPH Farm on Tuesday 21 August.
The feed was extremely well received, as you can imagine and Copperfield started on it immediately, building up to 5 balanced feeds per day.
Very sadly, in early September, Copperfield’s aged heart gave up and the tragic decision had to be made in respect of Euthanasia. His long term companion and stable mate, Comic took this very badly and as a result, started dropping weight and condition in response to the stress.
Fortunately, there is a healthy supply of Solution Mash on hand for Comic, who has now himself started on the feed and BPH are pleased to announce that Comic is picking up and his weight and mood are both improving significantly.
BPH has been voted the No: 1 visitor attraction for the Brantome area of France for the last 4 years, but in April 2018, they became the No: 1 of 328 places to visit in the entire Dordogne region of France, from Trip Advisor reviews from all over the world.
They were also awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the 3rd year running!!
Roland, Copperfield and Comic.
Thank you Jack and Lou<< Back