On 1st February 2019, Redwings merged with the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP).
SWHP was first founded 40 years ago as ‘The Society for the Humane Disposal of Horses and Ponies’, originally by Sheila Richards.
It was set up in response to the number of foals being sold at markets and exported overseas for slaughter. Sheila was inspired to buy some of these foals to protect them from such a fate and with the help of Jenny and Alasdair MacGregor, SWHP was born.
In the mid-1980s Jenny MacGregor took over as Chairman and the work of the organisation developed so that it became an equine rescue centre, taking in sick or abused animals, bringing them back to health and finding them loving new homes. The charity grew to have around 300 horses out in loan homes and over 50 in residence at the MacGregors’ farm in St Maughans, South Wales.
1996 - A landmark animal welfare case
In 1996, in a landmark animal welfare case, the MacGregors refused to hand a pony back to its owner who had been found guilty of causing it suffering. After a year of legal wranglings a judge agreed and the pony – known as Target - went on to lead a very safe and happy life at SWHP.
One of the last horses to be rescued by Jenny was Ginger, following a report by a concerned member of the public near Ebbw Vale. Her feet were in a shocking state and on the advice of the vet her owner signed her over to SWHP. After wonderful care from the staff and the farrier she has made a full recovery and is now best friends with an ex racehorse called Breeze.
Jenny MacGregor became well known all over Wales; no animal was left to suffer no matter how tricky the situation
Jenny MacGregor was made an MBE and received numerous awards during her lifetime for her passionate work in the animal welfare sector, including from the British Horse Society and British Equine Veterinary Association. Alasdair sadly passed away in 2011 and Jenny passed away in November 2017 aged 85, but not before she had secured the future of her beloved SWHP by opening negotiations for a merger with Redwings. Before she died Jenny had also approved the new site Redwings had purchased near Chepstow to continue the charity’s vital welfare work.
In a charming obituary written by her granddaughter Emerald it said: “Jenny MacGregor became well known all over Wales; no animal was left to suffer no matter how tricky the situation. [Jenny] approached every problem with common sense and good humour, the house was always open to the innumerable children and adults who sought her advice. There they may find a foal warming by the AGA or a chicken hatching on it, or an injured duck recuperating in the bath.”
Find out more about the merger between Redwings and SWHP. Keep an eye on our website or social media channels for visiting details in future!
The SWHP logo, which was hand-drawn by Alasdair MacGregor