A Lifeline for Horses Who Need Time to Adjust to a Life After Racing


When racehorses retire, they can face an uncertain future. That’s why The Racehorse Sanctuary & Rehoming Centre is dedicated to giving them a safe haven and a second chance of a new life after racing.

Thoroughbreds enjoy having a purpose and we aim to retrain many of these former racehorses, so they can begin new rewarding careers as eventers, show jumpers, happy hackers or dearly loved companions.

The Team

Jilly Cooper OBE


Jilly Cooper, OBE is a lifelong animal lover, bestselling writer, journalist, and champion for the recognition of the part played by animals in war.

Jilly has been delighting her audiences for nearly fifty years. Her books have sold over 11 million copies in the UK alone and have been translated into over a dozen different languages.

John Francome MBE


John Francome is a former Team European Show Jumping Champion and Young Show Jumping Rider for Great Britain and a seven-times Champion National Hunt jockey.

John is now a racing journalist having retired from presenting racing on Channel 4. He is also a writer of fictional racing thrillers and has been President of The Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).

Julie Routledge-Martin


Julie lives in Derbyshire where she breeds thoroughbreds and has several horses in training. She has sent several of her horses to us to be re-schooled and re-homed with the agreement that if for any reason this wasn’t possible, she would happily take them back to keep their future secure. Her generosity has been integral to our success, and she continues to promote and raise awareness of the Centre and its work.

David Ray


David is one of our fantastic fundraisers.

He is a retired scientist and business cherub, who only discovered horses later in life through the owner-breeder clubs run by The National Stud. Three of his favourite horses bred at the Stud have been retrained and rehomed by the Racehorse Sanctuary & Rehoming Centre.

Philippa Cooper


“Never has there been a more important time, in which to become involved in the welfare of racehorses.

I am delighted to be a Patron of The Racehorse Sanctuary & Rehoming Centre, as I know each horse that it receives, will be given the time and patience that it needs, before finding a new home and loving owner.”

Sally Moore

Chair of The Trustees

“I have had ex-racehorses since I was a teenager taking me through Pony Club camps, to the National Team Chase championships and BE Eventing. I currently have two ex-racehorses, Mithian, who I share with my husband and Jack Cairo, whom I re-homed from the Racehorse Sanctuary 13 years ago. He has given me so much pleasure that I feel that giving something back and helping others like him is a great honour and privilege.”

Catherine McIlwraith

COO & Trustee

“Beware of horses, they will steal your heart!

I have loved horses for as long as I can remember and have been a Pony Club Mum, Matron and Teacher and trained for my AI at Wellington School of riding. Fundraising is a large part of my life, and I am very proud to be part of the Centre’s team which helps the horses in their care to enjoy their retirement in comfort and peace.”

Edmund O’Reilly Hyland


Born in County Wicklow, Edmund competed in show jumping to a good level in his early career. Now living in England for over 20 years, he has a number of horses in training with Brian Meehan and Simon Dow and feels he has a great love and spiritual connection with these horses. As a debt of gratitude toward them for the pleasure they have given him throughout his life, he takes great pride in being a trustee.

Nigel Dunger

Yard Manager/Welfare Officer

Nigel Dunger manages the team at the yard and has years of experience working with thoroughbreds, having started work at Lambourne when he was 15. He worked for various trainers including Nicky Henderson LVO OBE and looked after a Grand National runner up, two Cheltenham Festival winners amongst other well-known horses. Passionate about thoroughbred welfare he ensures that a horse goes to a good home at the end of their racing career.

For the love of ex-racehorses