Wingham native opens horse rescue farm near Westfield
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
A new horse rescue operation on London Road just south of Belgrave is officially opening its doors to the public, as well as looking for some donations.
Fields of Glory equine adoption and rehabilitation farm is now open after several years of work on the area farm when Brenda Hull and her sons Victor and Bryce moved to the community just three years ago.
Hull is a Wingham native and the fifth generation in a horse-racing family, learning to steer horses with the help of her father when she was seven years old.
From her earliest years, Hull says she spent all of her time in the barn with her father and the family’s horses. Eventually she began working with thoroughbreds at race tracks, eventually grooming and training them, racing in Toronto and Florida.
After working with some of the top people in the horse industry, Hull said she decided to leave the racing world behind in 1999 when she moved to London, Ontario and worked for the local chapter of the Humane Society for a short while.
During that time, Hull said she missed working with horses and wanted to put her knowledge of working with abused animals together with her life-long knowledge of horses, so she opened a horse rescue farm in London in 2000.
“I have rescued many, many horses and ponies over the past 15 years, sometimes caring for as many as 21 at a time. Many small animals have also been rescued along the way and have been given the compassion and care they need as well,” she said.
Whether it’s horses destined for slaughter or animals that have been neglected or discarded locally, Hull says she has opened the doors of her barn to many animals over the years, bringing them back from injury or near-death.
Currently at Hull’s London Road farm, she has eight horses, three of which are ponies, as well as a handful of other animals.
Hull’s sons, who both attend school in Wingham, are a big part of what happens at the rescue says their mom. They work with the horses and do chores and spend a lot of their summers in the barn working with their mother alongside horses that have been rescued.
Hull says that what the rescue does is multi-faceted and good for all parties involved. Of course, there’s the rescuing of animals that the farm does, but Hull hopes that it will create opportunities for people throughout the community get up close and personal with horses, without the heavy financial burden that often comes with horse ownership.
The farm has always offered a sponsorship program for the horses where residents can spend time with a horse, brush it, show it affection and even ride it for a relatively low cost of donation.
Hull says she’s also looking for volunteers who would be interested in spending time with the horses, working with them and assisting her in fundraising for the venture. One of the farm’s first projects is a yard sale fundraiser and Hull is currently looking for garage sale items that could be donated to the cause.
There is also a “wish list” for the farm that involves items local farmers could donate if they were so inclined, such as hay, straw or grain, to name a few.
The rescue, which is located at 84287 London Road, will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday by appointment at 519-523-4574.