WHILE elite equine superstars in a diverse range of disciplines are the headline acts at Equitana, less fortunate horses will also take a starring role this year through the not-for-profit horse welfare organisation Project Hope, Equitana's official charity.
Project Hope's spokeswoman Chase Ellis (pictured with rescue horse Peggy, which will be appearing at Equitana) said the organisation began in 1973 when concerned reader Val Collingwood, Wallan, wrote to a magazine regarding the number of neglected horses in Australia, outlining a plan whereby somebody could co-ordinate the rescue and rehabilitation of these unfortunate animals.
Project Hope grew from a loosely organised network to a registered charity, creating newsletters to communicate, membership fees to help cover costs and a constitution.
Ms Ellis said 35 years later, the need for Project Hope was still strong, and although it was based in Victoria, it took calls regarding horse welfare from across Australia.
As Equitana's official charity, Project Hope will receive high-level promotion and a complimentary exhibition stand valued at more than $3000.
"That will provide the organisation with the opportunity to increase the profile of equine welfare, attract new supporters and raise much-needed funding for their selfless work," Ms Lethbridge said.
* Visit www.phhwv.org.au or 1300 881 606.