The Epona Trust RC Refuge for Ponies and Horses  

Ownership & Control. Charities are not owned by anybody. The charity is controlled and its assets held in trust by a board of trustees. Trustees are responsible in law for ensuring that charities are well run to deliver their charitable purposes for the public benefit as set out in their constitution.

As the founder of The Epona Trust, I took the decision in 1997 to give up ownership of the 25 ponies I had saved from slaughter. The motivation behind this was, if anything happened to me or I crashed financially, the ponies would be counted as my assets and could be sold to the highest bidder, possibly the meat man. The Charity and association was set up to protect the animals by appointing a board of trustees who are ultimately responsible for the assets.

Over the past few years, some of the Trustees have retired and others have sadly died, so If you are interested in becoming a trustee you can apply at the general meeting in January.

Our farm in Normandy is home to more than 60 ponies, horses, donkeys and mules, we provide emergency cover as well as permanent lifelong care for them, and only with your support can the refuge continue into the future.

      Will you send us away when we can no longer work?

      Pet owners in France have very few options to safeguard the future of their beloved pets. If the owner falls ill or gets too old to take care of them, many animals are left without adequate protection.  Although most families try to find an animal refuge to take on the elderly equines, it is not always possible as most centres are full to capacity. Then the only solution left open to the family is to sell their animals to anyone with ready cash. Unfortunately, so often it is a horse dealer who will buy them,  these precious equines will be loaded onto a lorry, then their nightmare begins.

      We can only imagine the regret and grief felt by the owner, not to mention the distress inflicted on a pony or horse that has never been subject to abuse or cruelty.

      Since setting up in France, we realise that one of our primary roles is to help protect those family pets and ensure they can continue to be cared for when removed from a loving home. We are constantly looking for new members and friends who are willing to provide a permanent home for one or more of these special rescues.

      France is a daunting project for the animal welfare associations that work here. Many organisations struggle to provide the amount of cover needed to ensure animals are protected. One of the objectives of the Trust is to build a network of associations and volunteers across France and provide safe houses, so we can all continue to help the families who need us.

      If you would like to be part of the Epona Trust, we would love to hear from you.

      We always need.

      • Foster homes for Ponies Horses and Donkeys
      • Help with fundraising
      • Younger people who would like to become members and new volunteers.
      • Association Legal advice and guidance.
      • We Also need to bring onboard new trustees and consultants to guide the trust into the future

      The Epona Trust. Registered UK charity 1065013

      French Association. 0501006626

      Peter's Plea

      My name is Peter, I am a cob Breton and I weigh around 1000 kilos I live at a refuge in France and Iove eating

      This my friend Domino, he doesn’t eat much, but he is very good at destroying fences and breaking into the food store. Along with our other 70 rescue equine companions, we are eating our refuge out of house and home. We equine know and understand what she says, and she has given us an ultimatum, diet or work. For us equine the idea of diet puts shivers down our withers and we really don’t want to go out to work. So I have taken it upon myself to contact you. With the help of Spenser, our computer savvy  rescue cats who hangs out on the computer all day  we hope to interest you in helping us pay a bill or two. Our vets bill (over 2000€) is still outstanding and we will need to keep our vet happy, so he will come to help us when we need him.

      Can you help us fundraise Please? You can make a donation via pay pal on our donations page or transfer into our bank account (contact us for details) forward this ask to all your animal loving friends, run a fundraising event for us or anything else you can think of that may help us

      We love it here and we would like our refuge to continue helping other equine without the worry of financial hardship. You can visit the refuge at any time during summer, rent our holiday home. Or see us on the internet.

      We thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope you enjoy your visit.

      We are all here because nobody wanted to take us on with our host of issues, Harry (thorouhbred racehorse) who broke his hip, Deceado, (Andalusian) with a broken neck, Speedy (Selle Francais) with woblers syndrome, a herd of OAPs, and  lamanitic ponies, to mention just a few. 

      As for me, I have always had bad feet, I have tried shoes and  boots of many different designs but they never really work  so I am able to plod the fields with a rider time to time as long as my farrier says so.

      Some of us go to foster homes as companions, but most of us cant find foster homes so we will stay at the refuge for life.