The founder of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, Rosemary Kind, has died at the age of 83.
Because of Rosemary, more than 1,000 horses, ponies and foals in need have been rescued in the UK and 631 are in the sanctuary’s care today.
Rosemary was born in 1939 in the middle of London, the youngest of four children. As WWII began her siblings were all evacuated but due to her age she remained with her mother while her father served in the Air Force. Often, in those early years, animals were her only company, including a rescued dog called Peter who went everywhere with her.
There were always horses in her life. As she got older, she would sneak out of school when the local horse market at Southall was on. What she witnessed there stayed with her for life. It was there that the passion to save all equines in need was embedded.
On leaving school, she worked as a secretary and an usherette to make ends meet but every spare moment was spent helping at the local riding stables.
She moved to Chudleigh in 1987 with her husband, Brian, finally able to have land and stables of her own. It was soon full of rescued horses and ponies. She often took in those equines that other people had given up on or that just weren’t wanted anymore, bringing them back to health. To Rosemary, life was sacred even if to others it was dispensable.
Rosemary was incredibly touched by the plight of the Dartmoor ponies at that time when so many were being sold for meat each autumn. She desperately wanted to do more and, after much research and a lot of advice from others already in the equine rescue world, she formed the Mare and Foal Sanctuary in 1988 and registered it as a fully-fledged charity in 1992.
Her vision was to ensure that the smallest, weakest, injured or most unwanted horses and ponies had care and a home for life. She instilled her ethics in her children, Syra and Simon, both of whom joined her later to work in the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. She dedicated her life to rescuing and looking after equines, only retiring in 2013.
Rosemary died peacefully on Monday 6 June with her family at her bedside. She is survived by her children, Syra Bowden and Simon Avery, her husband, Brian Kind, having passed away some years earlier.
In its 30th year as a registered charity, the Mare and Foal Sanctuary is holding fast to Rosemary’s vision.
Chief Executive, Sarah Jane Williamson, says: “The loss of Rosemary is felt deeply by our staff and Mare and Foal Sanctuary supporters all over the UK. Our heartfelt condolences are with her family at this sad time.
“Her vision, passion and determination to create the Mare and Foal Sanctuary is now her legacy that will live on in all that we do. Together with our supporters, we are working hard to provide a safe sanctuary for horses, ponies and foals, expand our welfare outreach and advice to the equine owning community and deliver Equine Assisted Services to people in our communities.”
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is planning a Celebration of Life event later in the year for staff and supporters to honour Rosemary and the difference she’s made to the lives of horses, ponies and foals.