THE MARE AND FOAL SANCTUARY - Key Persons


Angela Rippon

Broadcaster Angela Rippon CBE joined the Sanctuary in 2019 as Patron, following our merger with South West Equine Protection. She said: "The Mare and Foal Sanctuary does a terrific job in protecting the welfare of horses and ponies, through their rescue and support services, and their education programmes. I am delighted to be able to support their work as a Patron." Ms Rippon was born in Plymouth and started her career as a presenter on BBC Spotlight before heading to London in 1975 to become the first woman journalist to permanently front the national Nine O'Clock News. Since then she has presented a host of TV programmes, from the first two seasons of Top Gear to Come Dancing. Most recently she has co-presented the BBC consumer shows Rip Off Britain and Holiday Hit Squad. Ms Rippon has been a keen horsewoman.

Dawn Vincent

Job Titles:
  • Director of Fundraising and Communications
Since a young age, I have been involved with horses, ponies, donkeys and mules and I absolutely adore them. I was delighted to join The Mare and Foal Sanctuary in March 2019 after a career of more than 20 years working at The Donkey Sanctuary, a charity my Granny (Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE) founded. There, I had the privilege of working alongside Granny for many years, and I developed an extensive breadth of experience and knowledge of the charity and its fundraising and communications needs. I was really drawn to this role at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary as I felt I could help make a difference at another deserving charity. I loved the ambitious strategic plans created by the team to make the world a better place for horses and ponies, and now I'm here playing my part in it, together with our incredibly loyal supporters who so generously donate and help us out in various ways.

DONNA HALLETT

Job Titles:
  • DEPUTY MANAGER
  • Director
  • Trustee
My connection with the Sanctuary started when I was a teenager when I used to attend the annual horse show that was held every September in aid of the charity. Rosemary loved my palomino mare - and my mum's cakes and jams! Over the years my family and I became firm supporters and friends of the charity and to this day sponsor the mountain and moorland classes, in memory of my mare, at the annual show now held at Coombe Park. When the opportunity arose some three years ago to become a trustee I could think of no better way to further my involvement of this wonderful organisation. I think one of the best things about the Sanctuary is that it has a real family feel and a core set of values set up by Rosemary that still ring true and is evident in everything the teams do day in day out. Outside of my trustee role I have had a 20 year management career in the retail sector and more recently have moved in to the logistics industry, managing operations and working within compliance functions. My spare time is spent fulfilling my love of being with horses, travelling and helping my husband with his woodworking business.

ELIZABETH LOUISE GAFFER - CMO

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

JAMES FITZPATRICK

Job Titles:
  • COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
  • Director

John Nettles

We were delighted to welcome actor John Nettles as our charity patron in July 2014. The Bergerac, Midsomer Murders and Poldark star is best known for his turns on screen, but his help to publicise our work has also been invaluable. From his early beginnings in the UK hit comedy The Liver Birds in 1969, John became a household name playing the Jersey detective Jim Bergerac and the straight talking DCI Tom Barnaby in ITV's Midsomer Murders. Both series ran throughout the 1980s and 90s and were huge hits all over the world making him a household name and one of the nation's most beloved actors. John was the perfect choice for patron. As well as his status as a national treasure, he and his wife Cathy have had two Sanctuary ponies on loan, Pan and Avalon, at their home in North Devon which has been a great help to the Sanctuary.

LOUISE HARRIET SHARPE

Job Titles:
  • DIRECTOR

NIGEL JULIAN BROWN

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • RETIRED BANKER

ROBERT JONATHAN LOVELL

Job Titles:
  • Director
  • EDUCATION OFFICER (RETIRED)

Sarah Jane Williamson - CEO

Job Titles:
  • Chief Executive
My career has spanned education, public health management and the charity sector at national level. I have extensive experience of leading innovation and improvement in health services and in organisational design, transformation and governance.

Sarah Martin - CFO, Secretary

Job Titles:
  • Company Secretary
  • Director of Finance
After 12 years working in accountancy practices as a charity specialist and ten years in the public sector I became a member of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary Team in October 2014. It is a great responsibility to have control of the purse strings and ensure every penny of our supporters' money is used to best deliver our charitable objectives to rescue, retrain and rehome as many horses and ponies as we can,

Sue Cockayne

Job Titles:
  • Chairman of the Trustees
I've had a love of horses from a young age; studying the different breeds and reading books on how to care for them in the hope that one day I would have my own. I have also ridden since a child until I realised that what I actually enjoyed was caring for them and just spending time with them. I was lucky enough to end up with a beautiful, black Shetland pony called "Bubbles" who very kindly taught my children to ride and who I spent many happy hours grooming and caring for. I have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful career in Human Resources and spent 26 years working as Head of HR with one of the UK's largest equine charities. Through my HR consultancy work I have also been able to support other smaller charities to develop their people strategies and create positive working relationships where people can thrive.

Syra Bowden

Job Titles:
  • Director of Equine
As my mother founded the Sanctuary, I have been privileged to follow the journey of every horse and pony we have rescued, from the moment they come in.

Yvette Bacon

Job Titles:
  • Trustee
I have always had an interest in animals having had a variety of pets since my childhood. My love and interest in horses and ponies has developed when my daughter began riding at the age of 7.