Archive for November, 2009


Anna and Mr Simba


Big thanks go to Anna Thompson who recently raised approx 200€ for ERF riding her beautiful horse Mr Simba on a sponsored ride.

This isn’t the first time that Dordogne based Anna has raised funds for the association, and we would like to thank her immensely for her continued support to ERF.


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ERF rely heavily on public support and fundraisers to enable them to continue to act whenever they are needed in welfare cases and taking in unwanted equines. We realise that organising an event for the first time can be a rather daunting prospect, so we hope that this info will give you a starting block to work from.

Thorough planning and research is the key to organising a successful fundraising event so start planning your event as early as possible. Topics you’ll need to think about are;

  • What type of event you think you can organise?
  • Do you need additional help to organise the event – maybe rope in friends and family?
  • Plan where your event will be held
  • Decide when to hold your event
  • Choose where to market/advertise the event
  • What target figure do you hope to raise?
  • Decide before the event what % will be donated to ERF

The type of event you plan to hold needs careful consideration and will depend largely on facilities available and the area you live in. French law sometimes dictates that you have to get pre-approval from your Mairie for events such as Vide Greniers.

Here are some event suggestions to get you started;

Coffee Morning, Summer Fayre, Garden Party, Bring and Buy Sale, Auction of Promises, Quiz Night, Race Night, Bingo Night, Jumble Sale, Cake Sale, Barn Dance,  Art and Craft Fair, Summer Fete, Karaoke Night, Pyjama Party, Raffle, Tombola, Cheese and Wine Tasting, Garage Sale, Vide Grenier, Book Sale, Barbecue, Bazaar, Fun-Run, Tea Party, Sponsored ride

If this is your first attempt at organising an event, then the key is to keep it simple. Don’t get too over ambitious as event planning can sometimes be harder work than you first think. If you have friends and family that you can rope in then great, delegate specific roles to people so that you have everything covered but don’t feel over burdened!

If the venue isn’t going to be on your own property then you’ll need to ensure that the premises you choose has relevant insurance cover. Often venues such as bars and chateaux will offer a good deal for charity events – try and get some form of sponsorship/reduction from them in return for bringing your custom in.

The time of year you hold the event will be relative to the type of event you plan to hold. Bear in mind when people are usually away on holidays and when other local events are on so you don’t clash.

Obviously for an event to be successful, people need to know about it. We suggest that the event is posted on forums and websites, flyers put out (again check with the local Mairie), contact local newspapers/magazines and ask for a free mention, posters put up in local shops/businesses and of course word of mouth. We will be happy to design Posters with our logo on for the event.

Every centime raised is important to us and we appreciate that fundraising isn’t always an easy task. Have a realistic idea of what you hope to raise and how much the associated overheads are going to be beforehand so you don’t end up out of pocket.

We hope that the equines ERF help will be a big incentive to motivate volunteers to fundraise for us, but it also helps if the fundraiser earns a little bit from the event also. Even if this covers their time, consumables used, phone calls etc. Please tell us before the event what percentage of the takings will be going to ERF so that everything is crystal clear with everyone from the start.

If you think you could organise an event to raise much needed funds for ERF then please contact us for a chat.

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ERF were delighted to be contacted a few months ago by a fellow WSPA member society, AMCF (Animal Medical Care Foundation) who support more than 50 Animal welfare refuges and shelters worldwide.

AMCF are a  Netherlands registered charity operating from the Netherlands and France and run by volunteers who supply medicines, medical equipment and other care products to animal shelters.

We would like to say a big thank you to Sylvie & Betty at AMCF for the parcel we received today containing an array of extremely useful items including wormers for the ERF equines. Please take a look at their website and read about some of the excellent work they do.

Mimi checking out some of the AMCF donated gifts


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Les Haras Nationaux, who are the main body responsible for the registration of all horses within France, have made accessing your equines data even easier. It really is worth taking a few minutes to register on their site for free as there is then the ability to access and amend information on the equines you own in the click of a button. Here’s a step by step guide….

  • First go to the Haras Nationaux website
  • Click on Espace Privé in the top right hand corner
  • Click Créer un compte
  • Create a username and password for yourself, add your email address then click création du compte
  • Tick the box to confirm that you are the proprietor of equine/s and agree to the conditions of registration
  • Now enter the Sire No. and date registered for one of your equines, it doesn’t matter which one
  • Confirm that your address is correct

You have now created your account and will see a screen like this which shows your details and the number of horses you own. From here you can do things such as register the birth of a foal and register horses bought. By clicking in the Equarisseur box you can declare the death of an equine you own and arrange for the body to be collected by the Equarisseurs.


In the ‘Vos Chevaux’ box, click ‘Consulter-Gérer vos chevaux’ to see a list of all of your horses….

HN listeaYou can now click on each of your equines to see their full details, and if you purchase credits online you’ll be able to see available breeding and competition history for any equine registered with the HN.


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We found the following irresponsible ads on the internet recently advertising small ponies as ‘ideal Christmas presents’ for children. No animal, especially ponies, should be given as  Christmas presents. Ponies, even miniatures, require the same level of care as any other equine, including the bills that go with it! Just because someone has moved into a property  “with room for a pony” does not necessarily mean that they have the knowledge and funds to care for such a high maintenance animal.

black shetland

shetland chestnut


For the child who is begging for a pony, why not find a local Centre Equestre and book some lessons, some of the  more responsible ones will include lessons on how to care for a pony too.  They can learn just how much work is really involved! This will also allow the family involved to find out just what they are getting into, and if their interest and finances are up to it.

There are of course good alternatives to living pets these days, why not visit our Amazon store and take a look at Butterscotch, the life-like pony!hasbro-fur-real-friends-butterscotch-pony


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We would like to say a huge thank you to Janie Feakes, who on October 25th, completed the Great South Run raising over £315  for ERF.

Proudly wearing her ERF T-shirt, Janie completed Britains biggest 10 mile road race in a fantastic time of 2 hours 37 mins and 28 seconds! This annual race held in Portmouth each year raises millions of pounds for various charities.


Janie has a link with French rescue horses as she is adopter of Normandy cob mare Maddie  (previously called Sunrise), initially rescued by ERF President Kathryn and Jon Dobson prior to ERF forming. Janie and Maddie have a great relationship together and have been doing tremendously well with their Parelli work gaining very good marks from the Parelli HQ recently.

Thank you from all of us at ERF!

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For the past year or so we have been pushing the authorities to act in a case of neglect to 4 Shetland ponies feet in the Charente. Their feet had been grossly neglected for years making it extremely difficult for them to walk about. La Salmonie 4

Strangely though, they were otherwise reasonably cared for with ample hay and shelter provided. We are very pleased to report that the ponies feet have now been attended to and we hope that they see a farrier on a regular basis now and not allowed to get into that state again. Hoof neglect is a large problem in France that  regularly gets reported to us – a neglect that the authorities still do not rate highly enough on their list of concerns. We constantly have battles with the authorities to get help to those equines most vunerable in France. It is a difficult job we have to get someone to listen to our concerns, and we ask that people  please be patient whilst we try and get help to them. We try to do our best on the limited resources we have and our small but dedicated team of volunteers at ERF.

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