The founder of a horse sanctuary has received a welcome boost after three councillors dipped into their budgets to help.

Julie Blake, who runs Cecil’s Horse Sanctuary in Elstree, has gone through a terrible run of luck in recent months with vandals targeting the sanctuary, stealing machinery, breaking fences, and even stealing rescued foals.

Julie began rescuing ponies more than ten years ago – animals which may have been unwanted, deaf, or blind.

In 2016, her yard having built up a number of ponies, Julie and her volunteers applied to turn their work into a registered charity and this status was granted in June that year.

She named the sanctuary after Cecil, a miniature Shetland foal, who was stolen from the yard just one-month-old. Cecil had been named after Julie’s dad, who had just died from cancer.

Borehamwood Times:

There are now 40 horses and ponies under Julie’s care. Many of them have problems but this is of no bother to Cecil’s who do everything they can to ensure the animals live the best life they can.

But it is hard work and it doesn’t come cheap, even without the setbacks along the way.

Seven days a week with days beginnign at 5am takes its toll especially when Julie has to share her time between Elstree and her other field in Luton.

Julie regularly appeals for people to help with straw and other amenities but when three county councillors in Hertsmere heard about the problems Julie was facing, they jumped at the opportunity to help.

Borehamwood Times:

Cllr Caroline Clapper helped out with feed while Cllr Alan Plancey and Cllr Susan Brown each donated £500 from their locality budgets to pay towards a new fence to keep the animals safe– cash from Hertfordshire County Council designed to help and promote projects that in the area they live in.

Julie is thankful for all the support she receives from volunteers who come and visit the yard or donate through a fundraising page.

But more bad news may lie ahead for Julie with land she currently uses as her sanctuary put forward as a potential site for redevelopment in Hertsmere’s local plan.

Anyone who knows of any nearby land which could be used as a new base for the sanctuary if the current land is selected, please contact Julie via Cecil’s Facebook page.