Redwings Open Day returns bigger and better!

Over 1,000 visitors enjoyed a day full of exclusive talks, tours, demonstrations and plenty of pony cuddles at our annual Open Day on Sunday 15th July.

We open the doors to our Norfolk headquarters, south of Norwich, just once a year and this year's event proved as popular as ever!

The special open day offered many behind-the-scene glimpses into our work, including tours of our Horse Hospital taking in its operating theatre, intensive care stables and special care paddocks, as well as all the adorable four-legged patients currently receiving extra TLC from the veterinary team.

There was even a special tour just for children where budding vets of the future had the chance to test “itchy” Redwings mascot Red for pesky mites and have a go at looking through microscopes.

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Visitors enjoy a fascinating vet talk in the Horse Hospital.

At the Rehoming Centre, trainers showcased the handling and riding skills they have been teaching a number of rescued horses and ponies who will soon be looking for new homes through our Guardianship Scheme.

There was also an opportunity to enjoy cuddles with Adoption Star donkey Esther and her mum Martha, who had travelled from their usual home at Redwings Caldecott near Great Yarmouth, to be guests of honour for the day.

Their special appearance was in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of their rescue from the horrors of Spindle Farm, Amersham – a landmark rescue we have been marking this year with a series of fundraising initiatives to help care for the survivors for the next decade. A film celebrating the miraculous recoveries of the Amersham survivors, including Esther, was available to watch in one of our specialist horse ambulances throughout the event. You can watch the film here!

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Our rescued residents enjoyed all the extra fuss!

Later in the day, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service gave a dramatic demonstration of how they rescue horses from tricky situations using their training model horse and with plenty of help from young volunteers in the crowd too!

Visitors also had the chance to enjoy peaceful paddock walks where they got to meet more of the 350 rescued horses who call Redwings Hapton home, as well as browse a gift shop, a donated bring ‘n’ buy sale and a tack sale, with all proceeds going towards the 1,500 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in Redwings’ care nationwide.

There was also special children’s activities, pony grooming and face painting among the day’s packed fun-filled schedule.

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Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service demonstrate how they help animals in tricky situations.

Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive, said: “We were thrilled to see so many people return for this year’s open day. It’s always an honour to be able to give our visitors this special glimpse into what we do because, as a charity funded completely by donations of the public, none of it would be possible without their support.

“Once again, we’ve been overwhelmed by our visitors’ wonderful feedback. Thank you to all who came along to the event, as well as anyone who made a trip to one of our usual public visitors centres over the weekend, because we really do appreciate everyone’s support.”

While Redwings Hapton opens its doors just once per year, we have five visitor centres nationwide that are open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10am to 4pm, all year round.

Entry at all visitor centres is free and each hosts a series a family activities throughout the school summer holidays.

Click here to find your nearest visitor centre.