WINTER WARMERS: Pablo’s rescued horses and ponies wrap up against the cold winter weather PHOTO: Christine Bell
SUNNY SEASON: a picturesque Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary in the summer PHOTO: Christine Bell
The story behind Pablo’s
For the fourth week of our Melton times Christmas appeal, reporter Natalie Webb speaks to Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary founder Carole fielding about how she came to set up the charity, which provides a lifeline to unwanted or mistreated horses and ponies
LOOKING back at Carole Fielding’s upbringing it is no surprise she has managed to accomplish so much to secure the safety and well-being of so many horses in the Melton area. Growing up, Carole was horse-mad and would spend as much time as she could helping muck out horses in stables at the Kings Head and White Lion in Melton. So much so that she was given three ponies at the White Lion stable after the owner’s death. However, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that the idea to open a horse sanctuary came to Carole when she was asked to take in Pablo the pony.
Pablo had a number of health problems which Carole readily took in her stride. He suffered from a crooked knee, bad feet, arthritis and diabetes but had a wonderful personality. Carole said: “He was such a cheerful pony with a fantastic temperament, who I loved dearly. Unfortunately he suffered from too many problems and it was decided that the kindest decision would be to have him put down. It was a devastating decision which still upsets me today and it was therefore in his honour that I decided to set up Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary.” Carole (40 at the time) didn’t have to wait long before unwanted horses and ponies began arriving on her doorstep.
Working full-time in an office and evenings in a pub, Carole spent as much as she could on renting out fields for the rescued horses and ponies and managed to secure land at Saxelbye Road, Leicester Road, Doctors Lane and Scalford. Not being able to drive, she acquired a scooter to get to the various rented fields and would travel up and down Melton every morning and night in between her jobs, with buckets full of horse feed hanging from her scooters handlebars. “I got into trouble a few times,” said Carole: “The police would pull me over and tell me it wasn’t safe to drive around with buckets of horse feed attached to my handlebars. Eventually I managed to pass my driving test and bought an old banger for £100.”
With Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary expanding Carole took the decision to secure a more permanent patch of land to keep her horses and ponies in 2003, and was offered the rental of a yard with great facilities at Long Clawson, where she is now based. Carole said: “At the time I had around 20 horses and ponies in my care, but as the years have gone by, people’s need to give up their horses has grown and grown to the point where I can no longer take on anymore unwanted animals.” Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary became a registered charity four years ago and now cares for more than 60 rescued horses and ponies at the Long Clawson Sanctuary and across Melton in rented fields.
Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary’s stall at the Victorian Christmas Fayre raised £720 for the charity. Carol has spent all of the money on desperately needed hay for the horses and ponies which has been depleting during the winter.
Volunteers donated home-made cakes, biscuits, chutney and jam to the cause and also put on a tombola. Charity founder Carole Fielding was also delighted to receive a number of hand-delivered cheques for the sanctuary on the day.
She said: “We managed to stock up on 10 big barrels of hay thanks to the kindness and generosity of the Melton people. “The food should go a long
on way to helping the horses and ponies get through the winter months.”
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP
DONATE: Hand in your donation or make a cheque payable to Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary and drop it off at the Melton times office in Nottingham Street. Alternatively you could set up a standing order with your bank.
ADOPT: adopt a horse for a year as an unusual Christmas present for just £20. You will receive a photo, certificate and quarterly updates
HAY: Donations of hay are desperately required
VOLUNTEER: Get stuck in and volunteer your time. Weekend volunteers are
particularly needed but all who can spare time are incredibly welcome
FUNDRAISE: Hold an event such as a cake sale or become part of Pablo’s fundraising team
For more information call 0774 562 8684, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
STARTING OUT: Left: a photo of Carole in 2004 holding baby pygmy goat Roger and standing next to rescued horse Jack
PHOTO: Jim Harrison
RIGHT: Carole today with rescue horse Cherry who is blind
PHOTO: tim Williams to order call (01664) 410041 or visit http://www.photostoday.co.uk