History of our rehoming scheme

Find out more about our history and the origins of our rehoming scheme.

Find out more about our history and the origins of our rehoming scheme.

World Horse Welfare currently runs the UK’s largest equine rescue and rehoming scheme but do you know where it all started? Read on to find out!

  • The charity was founded as the by Ada Cole in 1927 as the International League Against the Export of Horses for Butchery after she saw work-worn horses on the docks of Antwerp destined for slaughter.
  • In 1937 the charity’s work sees the introduction of the Exportation of Horses Act, which effectively stops the export of live horses for slaughter from Great Britain. The charity becomes the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH).
  • The charity’s first rescue centre opened in Britain in 1949.
  • In 1978 the ILPH rehomed scores of old police horses and pit ponies, emerging as the largest equine rehoming charity in Britain.
  • The ILPH was re-branded as World Horse Welfare in 2008 and became an associate member of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) after almost three decades as their welfare advisors.
  • Today, World Horse Welfare has Rescue and Rehoming Centres in Aberdeenshire, Lancashire, Norfolk and Somerset and rehomes horses and ponies around the UK.
  • In 2021 a record 378 horses and ponies were rehomed!
  • Got a question about the rehoming scheme? You can find out more here.

Need help?

If you have any further questions or need guidance with our rehoming scheme please visit our Help Centre.

Please check our Need Help page for guidance.
Get our latest news and rescue stories
Follow our story on social networks