Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary

Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary (HSES) was founded by passionate animal lovers and advocates in 2014, in response to an ever-increasing number of horses passing through the sale yards, and into the hands of knackeries.

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The name was selected to pay homage to the brilliant protective work done by the Sea Shepherd, and to reflect our mission of providing sanctuary and solace to unwanted, injured, and otherwise vulnerable horses and ponies. We are a fully ACNC registered charity, and rely largely on funding from committee members, and a small number of sponsors, to continue our work.

The year 2016 was one of tremendous growth for HSES, commencing with the move to our new, 275 acre Sanctuary in Gordon, Victoria. This was promptly followed by the arrival of 113 horses as part of the largest RSPCA horse seizure in Australian history.

Then, in April 2016,  HSES was again selected by the RSPCA to care for the tragic Bulla horses; horses that had suffered the most horrific neglect, and generated unprecedented public outrage.

Today, HSES is currently home to over 100 horses and ponies, along with many other rescue animals, including dogs, cats, donkeys, goats, sheep, cows, ex-battery hens, geese, ducks, alpacas, llamas, turkeys… Even Peacocks!

Mission: We are committed to sustainable and ethical equine rescue and rehabilitation. We believe firmly in improving the physical and psychological well being of every animal that resides at HSES, along with actively lobbying and advocating for all companion animals. Each horse at HSES stays with us until we are confident that they are ready to be rehomed. Horses are extensively vetted and handled. We believe in investment in re-educating horses to help ensure excellent, forever homes, from basic ground work to ridden under saddle. Alternatively, some horses are assessed as needing sanctuary at HSES indefinitely, due to health or behavioural issues- perhaps our most famous `lifer` is Winston, a 40 year old thoroughbred gelding. It is our unrelenting mission at HSES is to provide the gold-standard in care to all of our residents, for life- a commitment protected by a lifetime adoption agreement, should they be rehomed.

HOW YOU CAN HELP HSES – as a registered charity we graciously accept financial donations. You or your workplace/organisation may also wish to sponsor a horse. Alternatively, you can create awareness by talking about our organisation, liking our Facebook page, visiting our website, or simply talking to your friends and family about current horse welfare issues.


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You can also call us on 1300 263 800 to sign up.