HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh Visits Horse Sanctuary to Commemorate 40th Anniversary

On Tuesday 27 June 2023, HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh visited Remus Horse Sanctuary to commemorate its 40th anniversary.

The Duchess, who has been a patron of the charity since 2013, toured the Sanctuary and unveiled a commemorative plaque with founder, Sue Burton. The Duchess spoke to many members of the Remus team and volunteers, thanking them for their hard work and support.

During the visit to the Sanctuary, The Duchess was joined by Mr Vincent Thompson, His Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant; Mr Charles Bishop, High Sheriff of Essex; Councillor Jill Reeves, Chair of Essex County Council; Councillor Linda Mascot, Mayor of Chelmsford City Council; Mr Nick Eveleigh, the Chief Executive of Chelmsford City Council, and Mr Andy Mariner, Assistant Chief Constable of Essex Police, before enjoying an anniversary lunch at the nearby and historic Ingatestone Hall with two more of the charity’s patrons: Lord Petre and his son The Hon. Dominic Petre, and Andrew Rosindell MP for Romford. Also in attendance at the lunch were many of Remus’ trustees, supporters, suppliers and vets.

Mrs Doreen Lowman, 95, a local fundraiser and long-term supporter of the Sanctuary presented The Duchess with a small posy of flowers. This is the Duchess’ first visit to the Sanctuary since her change in title earlier this year.

Founder, Sue Burton, thanked the Duchess for her time, saying: “I am so very proud to still be in the driving seat of Remus after 40 years. 40 years of helping animals but particularly equines.

“I am proud of what Remus has achieved in that time and the animals who have come through our gates that we have been able to turn round, from emaciated, terrified, beaten, and in two cases deliberately blinded wrecks, to animals now able to live and enjoy a normal happy life free from suffering, hunger and fear. To my mind these things should be a very basic right, not a privilege.

“I am proud to have Her Royal Highness here supporting our work. It’s a massive achievement and we, I, am so grateful that you could take the time from your busy schedule to be with us today Ma’am. Thank you so much.“

For further information on the welfare work of Remus Horse Sanctuary, visit or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.

Images (credit Christopher Rushton):

  1. Remus Founder Sue Burton and HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh with commemorative plaque
  2. HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh meets rescue Dolly, our eldest horse, 39yrs
  3. HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh meets rescue cat Smudge

Royal Visit Commemorates 35th Anniversary for Horse Charity

On Tuesday 26 June, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex visited Remus Horse Sanctuary in Ingatestone, Essex, to help raise awareness of the ongoing horse welfare crisis in the UK and, to commemorate the charity’s 35th anniversary, by unveiling a bespoke plaque to mark the occasion.

Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary said, “it was an amazing day and we are so grateful for The Countess to take time out of her busy schedule to spend time with us.”

There are a wide variety of rescued animals at the Sanctuary, big and small, and Roxy the cat didn’t want to be left out [pictured]. During the visit, The Countess met many of the old and blind horses at the Sanctuary: including Holly and Grace who are both blind, Tosca who is now in his mid-40’s and Pippa who has undergone major eye surgery [pictured].

The Countess also met Blax [pictured] – a mare left in the most appalling condition, lame and emaciated in a field to fend for herself for more than three months. When The Countess last met Blax in July 2017, she hadn’t long been in the Sanctuary’s care and could barely move – now The Countess has seen her running and playing in the field.

Lord John Petre of Ingatestone, Mayor of Chelmsford Yvonne Spence, Mayor of Brentwood Sheila Murphy, and Deputy Mayor of Basildon Danny Lawrence were also in attendance, along with the Chief Executive of Chelmsford City Council Nick Eveleigh, charity staff, volunteers, members and supporters.

The Countess, who joined the charity as a Patron in 2013, and is committed to supporting horse welfare said in her speech: “Essex is lucky to have such a resource in the county” and encouraged people to get behind the Sanctuary and support its work.

For further information about the charity, visit

Royal Visit to Commemorate 35th Anniversary

On Tuesday 26 June, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex will be visiting Remus Horse Sanctuary in Ingatestone, Essex, to help raise awareness of the ongoing horse welfare crisis in the UK as the charity celebrates its 35th anniversary year.

The Countess who will be arriving at the Sanctuary at 12 noon will meet all of the animals the charity has rescued including two blind mares, Hollie and Grace, and some of the many other ponies who have been dumped on roads or victims of cruelty.

The Countess, who joined the charity as a Patron in 2013, is committed to supporting horse welfare and will meet with the Mayors of Chelmsford and Brentwood, parish and local councilors and the Vice Lord Lieutenant, members of staff, volunteers and supporters. A plaque will be unveiled to commemorate the event.

Attendance at the event is strictly by invitation only – the Press are invited to send reporters and television crews. Arrival should be between 11am and 11.30am and names must be confirmed to Sue Burton, Founder of the Sanctuary, no later than Monday 25 June by email to or by telephone on: 01277 356191.

For further information about the charity, visit

The Countess of Wessex Informed of Escalating Cruelty to Horses in the UK

On Thursday 29 June, Sue Burton, the Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary, along with the Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford and the Mayor of Brentwood, welcomed Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to highlight the equine welfare crisis in this country.

The Countess, who joined the charity as a Patron in 2013, visited the Sanctuary for a tour of the facilities, and to learn more about issues such as: tethering, cruelty and neglect, indiscriminate breeding and abandonment, and elderly horses – all of which continue to escalate around the UK.

The Countess met staff, volunteers and guests and many animals including those that have been victims of all of the above types of cruelty including Dante, two blind mares Hollie and Grace, and Blax – the charity’s most recent rescue.

The Countess was also shown before and after videos of Blax’ recovery and the amazing difference in her wellbeing since arriving at the Sanctuary four months ago.

Hundreds of horses are suffering every day and many are suffering despite the Authorities being aware of them. In one week alone at the end of June, the Sanctuary heard of three young colts abandoned in different areas nearby, and that’s without the many they don’t get to hear about.

Sue Burton said, “It was a delight to have The Countess here and to show her first hand some of the issues that we are facing amidst the country’s largest ever equine welfare crisis and what we are doing to help the many horses caught up in this crisis.

“Without question action needs to be taken to help these animals, it seems so wrong that we can send a rocket to the moon but we still allow horses to be chained to the ground by the neck for their entire life with many being covered by the stallion, giving birth and dying on that same chain.

“There has to come a time when we say enough is enough and surely now is that time. Remus aims to take an active role in helping to make that happen.”

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

Royal Visit for Remus Horse Sanctuary

HM Lord Lieutenant for Essex, Lord Petre (Patron) and Dena Schwartz, Zoopharmacognosist, trustees and staff of Remus Horse Sanctuary, were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex and many local dignitaries to the Sanctuary on Wednesday 14 October for a VIP Invitation Day.

The Countess, who joined the charity as a Patron in 2013, visited the Sanctuary for a tour of the facilities, and to learn more about horse rescue and Remus’ contribution to the local community and economy.  Seventy other local dignitaries, including: Mr Vincent Thompson (High Sheriff of Essex) and Mrs Diana Thompson, Councillor Norman Hume (Chairman of Essex County Council) and Mrs Veronica Hume, Councillor Paul Hitchinson (Mayor of Chelmsford City Council) and Mr Ali Nurad, Chief Constable, Police Crime Commissioner, local Councillors and Members of Parliament also enjoyed the tour, presentations and lunch which took place in a marquee at the Sanctuary.

On behalf of the Sanctuary, 11 year-old Katie Tosko, a local young volunteer, presented The Countess with a posy of flowers, kindly donated by Billericay florist – Always Flowers.

The day was organised by Sue Burton, Founder of the charity in 1983, to raise awareness not only of the work and money that goes into caring for 200+ animals and maintaining the premises that house them, but just as importantly Remus’ work in the community and its contribution to the local economy.  Sadly Sue was not able to attend the event, as she had been admitted to hospital on Tuesday evening.

2015 has been an extremely tough year for Remus, who has noticed an immense decline in donations as people continue to be very careful with their money. The effect on the Charity has been considerable which, in turn, has a huge impact on the Sanctuary and its work. Furthermore, this comes at a time when the horse welfare crisis is escalating in this country and therefore putting extra pressure on Remus’ already depleted funds.

The Sanctuary continues to make every effort to reduce expenditure where possible and increase its income.  The charity employs 15 members of staff providing jobs within the local community and is supported by a further 30 volunteers ranging from 11 – 83 years of age!  Additionally, they make a significant contribution to the local economy; in 2014 their bill for hay and straw was £85,000, vets bill £55,000 and for the farrier £12,000.  One of their suppliers recently told them that if Remus ‘go under, so will he!’ which clearly shows the impact it has on local business. Naturally, Remus want to avoid this but need ongoing support to do so, to allow and encourage more people through their gates annually – it is currently limited in its fundraising efforts due to the green belt restrictions, parking and access.

Whilst much of Remus’ work is done on site at the Sanctuary, the staff work actively within the community to enhance the lives of others; visiting Care Homes for the elderly to improve their lives, and to schools to educate youngsters and show them how to respect and care for animals, an important aspect of improving animal welfare for the future.  Remus is also an accredited organisation offering work placements to young people and a Duke of Edinburgh Award training venue.  The staff give talks to various groups, clubs and schools and organise tours for deaf, blind and disabled groups.  The staff and volunteers organise a variety of complementary therapy workshops throughout the year to educate and inform, on elderly horse care, animal behaviour, and various holistic therapies.

Sue Burton, Founder, said, “We are absolutely delighted with the response, I’m just so sorry I couldn’t be there.  I hear The Countess of Wessex was absolutely delightful as always, we really appreciate her support and genuine interest in what we do and the escalating horse welfare crisis in this country.  We also need people to understand the important work we do within the Essex community and our contribution to the local business economy. Although our raison d’etre, often people do not see beyond the animals.”  Sue went on to explain, “Unless we see greater support locally from the ‘powers that be’ there is little hope for a future at Remus. Hopefully today has gone someway to educating the political and business community”.


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