Covid Safe Socially Distanced Open Day at Essex Horse Charity

Remus Horse Sanctuary will be opening its gates on Sunday 2 May 2021, ahead of the Early May Bank Holiday, for only the second time since October 2019. Visitors, members and supporters are invited to come and meet the 200+ animals residing and recuperating at the Sanctuary and learn about the Charity’s horse welfare programme.

The Open Day follows months of hardship experienced by the charity during the Covid pandemic and lockdown measures.

The Sanctuary will be open from 1pm to 5pm and pre-booking is essential as Remus will only be selling a limited number of tickets online for this event to ensure visitors safety and maintain social distancing. Entry will be staggered to manage the flow of visitors.

Parking is available on-site, with disabled access, and dogs are welcome on a lead. Admission will be charged at £5 per adult and £2 for children and tickets can be purchased securely online at, or via the telephone on 01277 356191.

Sue Burton, founder of the Sanctuary said,We have undertaken rigorous risk assessments and are confident that we can open safely in May.

“We want our visitors and the Remus team to feel safe and be safe, so we have applied caution and will only open the areas that we feel are safe to do so. The site will be a totally outdoor environment and we will direct people via a one-way system.”

This Open Day will be a vital source of fundraising for the charity which, like many, had most of its physical fundraising curtailed on 23 March 2020 at the start of lockdown. The Sanctuary was able to open briefly on Sunday 6 September but bad weather and further lockdown measures put paid to any further activity.

Ms Burton says,We are asking people to purchase a ticket in advance to manage numbers and minimise physical contact on the day. We are so looking forward to opening our gates again and welcoming visitors to this really special place.”

For further information, visit or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.

Coronavirus Update

Late March we were told we had to close the Sanctuary and stop all Fundraising – for us this was going to be one of our worst nightmares as after the Winter we are desperate for our fundraising to start, so that we can begin to bring much needed funds in to feed the animals and pay the bills that have mounted up during the winter months.

Despite the Government claiming it was wrapping its arms around us all and keeping us safe during these unprecedented times, no help was ever offered to animal charities, nor were they even acknowledged. We have struggled through April, May, June and into July still without help and now that there is light at the end of the tunnel with zoos and wildlife parks etc opening there are so many rules and regulations that at present were we to try to have an Open Day with reduced numbers as requested with all the signage and new additions we have to put in place we would not make money so we are no further forward.

It looks like all stalls and fairs and fetes are cancelled for this year and we have real concerns how we will keep our heads above water until next Spring (assuming we can open then of course!). We will do our utmost to try to open this year but we do need to be sure that we can keep visitors and staff/volunteers safe and there are so many hoops to jump through and things that would need to be changed that  for now we will closely monitor the ever-changing rules and requirements. If in the meantime you can help in any way, we would love to hear from you.

Can you help us with one of the following:

Anything that you can do to help keep our gates open will be very much appreciated.

We are hoping that all our members and families have remained well and safe during these very difficult times. Thankfully all staff and volunteers have remained well and able to care for the animals. As expected with these times, cruelty to horses is on the increase and we have seen and helped some pitiful cases. It breaks your heart to see what mankind has done to these beautiful creatures

On the whole, all the Remus animals have remained well, which has been a Godsend, especially in the first 6-8 weeks when Vets were not working. At the beginning of the Virus we were suddenly hit with not being able to get the animals food from our usual suppliers as people started panic buying their horse feed so we had to buy from other suppliers that didn’t offer us the same ‘good price’ as our Supplier does so we had to pay through the nose for feed. Our Hay Merchant very kindly allowed us to stack our barn full of hay and straw just in case someone in their family was taken ill and then they could not deliver to us. It was all an unknown quantity and none of us knew what to expect. Our two main concerns were (1) Could we get sufficient food and hay in to feed the animals and (2) If we had a proper lockdown where we couldn’t leave our homes what would we do about the animals so a small group of us had agreed that were that to happen we would stay at the Sanctuary and sleep in the offices but at least we were here to care for and look after the animals.

PETS AT HOME & SUPPORT ADOPTION FOR PETS – We were delighted to receive a grant of £5000 which was paid direct to our Veterinary Surgeon towards our ever-growing Vets bills. This was such a help and so very much appreciated.

PET PLAN FUND – We were able to receive a £2,500 donation from this Fund towards the cost of keeping the animals fed and cared for and we are very grateful to them for their support at this difficult time.

All very helpful when you consider each week, we pay £1000 each to our Vets, Feed company, hay merchant. £3000 a month on regular medications that the animals need. Then there are staff wages, HMRC costs, insurances, utilities, repairs to the buildings and premises, rent, waste costs to name but a few of the outgoings.

50/100 CLUB – Why not join one of these clubs? For £24 a year you enter into a draw that is drawn three times a year and pays out at each draw. £12 of the money donated goes direct to Remus and the other goes into a fund with the other 49/99 people and then three times a year there are three draws and the money gets split between the winning numbers. A great way to help the Sanctuary and to win a ‘bit extra’ for yourself. Email us for further information.

Remus Albert Einstein quote

Caring for our horses during the pandemic

Coronavirus has changed our lives beyond anything we thought possible. Thankfully our animals, for the most part, remain oblivious to everything going on around them. That’s how we want it to be, but for many who own or care for horses, routines have been affected and even life at the yard has been unable to go on as usual.

Depending on your yard situation, you may have had to turn your horses away for the foreseeable future, or you may be able to continue with their usual routine but on a buddy system with other liveries. Either way, this time of year presents lots of challenges with weight and grass management, which have now been made even trickier. Plus, as we all know, horses thrive on routine and some have had to endure sudden but inevitable changes.

So there is a lot to think about regarding our four legged friends – from managing farrier visits to coping with reduced exercise to getting hold of essential supplies. Among the reams of information out there, this checklist from Horse & Rider is a good place to start and will help make sure you’re on top of everything that still needs doing despite Covid-19.

Here at Remus we are now reliant on a small but dedicated group of yard staff and continue to give our residents the very best day to day care amidst more and more challenging circumstances. In the meantime we’re enjoying sharing pictures of the horses and ponies with you on our social media pages and if you are able to help support us in any way possible, you’ll find links below:

We and the animals thank you!

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