Brantome Police Horses - France
Brantome Police Horses came about because of my lovely Mum, Sylvia Phillips. She unwittingly in 1976 started a small sanctuary in England called The Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary (DHAPS). This little sanctuary went on to become a registered charity in 1981. It has to be said that she was slightly barmy, but in a good way. In her time she rescued hundreds of horses and ponies and was very proud to be asked to join the board of the National Equine Welfare Council. She definitely deserved a medal for all the equines she rescued.
In 1993 through myself, Roland, I was a Detective for the Metropolitan Police Force at the time and had very little to do with horses. However, I had a very good friend who was a Mounted Police Officer. He asked if my mother would provide a forever retirement home for his Police horse who had come to the end of its working life, the poor animal who had given so many years to protecting Londoners had nowhere else to go and faced an uncertain future. My mother agreed and after an inspection to make sure the Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary were suitable she became the proud custodian of not one but two retired Police Horses, Karen & Kendrick, and that as they say was just the beginning of her relationship with the Metropolitan Police Force and subsequently The Avon and Somerset Force.
In 2006 it became quite clear that Mum was not going to be able to carry on for much longer due to ill health and her age. My wife Alison and I were able to retire from our old jobs, but could not afford a farm or land in the UK of the magnitude needed, so we looked further afield. After a long search we decided that the sunny and beautiful area of South West France where property with grazing land was cheaper and the horses could benefit from the wonderful climate was the place to be. Unfortunately, Mum never lived long enough to see her beloved horses make the move, but we know she would be very content that they are happy and have so many visitors who love them as much as we do.
If you would like to read more about our adventure into France and visit, please take a look at our website and meet our 'Heroes'. Roland Phillips