About Horse Rescue Scotland

About Horse Rescue Scotland

Horse Rescue Scotland is a Scottish National Horse charity that aims to improve the lives of horses within Scotland through education, campaigning, and hands-on care.

Our vision:   Horse Rescue Scotland’s philosophies, is a place where every horse is treated with respect, compassion and understanding.

Our mission:  
Our mission is to work with horses, horse owners, communities, organisations and the Scottish Government to help improve welfare criteria and eradicate anguish all too often uncovered with horse welfare cases.

Our philosophies:   With everything we do, we aim to be:

  • Genuine in our approach, focusing on the practical to achieve what is possible now whilst mindful of the future
  • Sympathetic in our attitudes, behaviour and decision-making
  • Innovative in anticipating challenge and change, always seeking new ways of being more effective

Helping horse owners and keeping horses can be very complicated and confusing.    There are so many things to think of and so much frequent conflicting information available.   It can be difficult to know where to turn to for this factual advice best suited for your own individual needs as no two cases are the same.    We are here to help and have some of the horse industry’s leading Equid welfare experts on call.   We would far desire an owner to inquire if they are not sure about something.    This could be anything at all; from knowing how to help a new horse settle in, to admitting that you’re struggling to cope.    We aim to help horse owners every day by being there on the end of the phone to answer any number of queries, and by providing guidance face-to-face through our team of Equid welfare experts.    What we would ask of you is to remember that this is a charitable service and are currently unable to answer calls immediately, but if you leave a voicemail message we shall endeavour to return your call as soon as possible.   When you call, you will speak to someone who has a respectable knowledge; both of horses and the relevant legislation, and all calls are dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Horses have a role in society

Horses and humans have evolved a unique partnership, that horses have an important role in today’s society. Whether as working animals, family pets, equine athletes, conservation grazers or companions, horses contribute to our lives, cultures and economies. This co-operation is accurate so long as we the individuals take full responsibility for their welfare.

Long-term change

In all of our work we strive for long-term change rather than short-term fixes. We endeavour to treat the source of a problem rather than just the symptoms.  Our focus is finding long term, sustainable resolutions that raise welfare standards in the short term as well as over time.


We are a charity that has confidence in taking a practical approach to solving problems.  We focus our efforts on what is achievable, aspiring to work constructively with others to implement lasting change.

Clinical and Scientific evidence

The foundation of our work we base upon clinical and scientific evidence and on the wealth of our substantial amounts of horse care experience.  We also support research to improve horse welfare.  


Our volunteers help raise money and the awareness of our good work within their local communities and further afield!

There are lots of benefits to becoming a Horse Rescue Scotland volunteer.  You will learn more about horses with our dedicated training regimes.  Meet new people whilst making new friends.   Develop or gain new skills and experiences to build into your CV which in turn will help you gain confidence and self-esteem.  You will also become part of a valued team allowing you to give something back to the horses and ponies you have grown to love and respect.

The Trustees

The current Trustees Board of Horse Rescue Scotland originate from various backgrounds with many professional skills which complement the organisation.   Horse Rescue Scotland invites nominations from its other trustees and its employees - the aim is for each trustee to bring a particular skill or interest to the Council, which will assist the successful running of the charity.   These key professionals are the core to our success to date and Horse Rescue Scotland will be developing its trustee and volunteer numbers as the charity workload evolves.    All Trustees have been carefully screened and vetted under OSCR guidelines.

Peter MacDonald  LLB(Hons), ACII, Barrister   - Chairman  


A graduate of the University of East Anglia School of Law, Peter went on to study for the Part II Bar Exams for England and Wales at the Inns of Court School of Law, Holburn and was called to the bar in 1982.


Having joined one of the UK’s leading insurers, Peter has continued working in the insurance industry for the last thirty years and is now working for a leading firm of solicitors based in Glasgow specialising in insurer representation.


Peter’s interest in animal welfare was originally sparked at University when studying jurisprudence under the tutelage of Dr Jean-Marie Chandelle (now Professor of Law at the University of Brussels).  The growing notion that the abuse and exploitation of “sentient animals” for profit and gain had deep-seated ethical implications for everyone was rapidly becoming an area of genuine legal concern and a “battlefield” of ideas that pitched property rights against ethical notions of commerce and agriculture.


However, it was not until attending a series of lectures by the renowned Australian philosopher Peter Singer (author of “Animal Liberation”) in 1995 that this interest became clearly focussed on justifying human exploitation of animals only in terms of increased welfare development. 


Peter’s areas of special concern are the developing relationships between devolved administrations and the EU. 


Peter is married with three children and both lives and works in the Glasgow area and rides regularly. 

Mr William Steele BVMS MRCVS

DR JO-ANNE MURRAY.   PhD, PgDip, PgCert, BSc (Hons), BHSII, RNutr, FHEA

Dr Jo-Anne Murray is a senior lecturer at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, which is part of the University of Edinburgh.  Jo-Anne has been involved with horses since a young girl and after many years of working on different yards and attaining her British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor qualification, Jo-Anne completed a degree in Equine Science in 1998.  Jo-Anne then went on to complete a postgraduate diploma in Animal Nutrition and then a PhD in Equine Nutrition.  After attaining her PhD, Jo-Anne began working at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, which is part of the University of Edinburgh.   At the University of Edinburgh Jo-Anne has developed the first online Equine Science programme and has extensive experience of teaching online having attained a Masters in E-learning from the University of Edinburgh.  Jo-Anne is also a register Nutritionist with the British Nutrition Society and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  Jo-Anne has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is invited to speak at major equine conferences around the world.

Ms. Diane Devlin-Mclean

Diane Devlin-McLean’s background is primarily within the legal sector having been in administration and managerial support, latterly working as a para legal for a number of years in Glasgow. Initially Diane became involved with horses when she took up lessons in her mid thirties and shared a common love and interest with her daughter. They both became keen riders and within six months of learning to ride got their own horse Storm and the following year they added Megan to their family, and enjoyed attending many local and regional shows and coming home with many rosettes over the years.

During the following few years Diane’s interest in horses and their welfare grew which led to her running her own riding school in Renfrewshire. In 2007 she had to make the decision to resign from the business to become a full time carer for her husband when he was diagnosed with MS.

Diane currently lives in North Ayrshire and has recently gone “back to school” studying to do a BA (Hons) degree in Law and Business. Other interests that Diane has are walking her dogs, going to live concerts, theatre shows and spending time with family and friends.


New Treasurer

Penny McIntyre BSc (Hons), PGDip, PGCert, FCIPD

Penny graduated from Sheffield Hallam University and then went on to study for a Post Graduate qualification at the University of West Sussex in Human Resource Management, where she was also able to gain her chartered status with the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Penny has had a successful career in HR and has worked across a number of diverse industries including airlines, road transport and rail; which means she literally has been involved with 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'! Penny has also had the opportunity to work within the public sector, rejoining Sheffield Hallam University as an employee and Human Resources Manager.

Penny currently holds a senior Human Resources position and is a member of the Executive Group for a division within the rail industry. She has responsibility for all HR functions within the business, which covers a large territory across Scotland and the East Coast of England.

As a child Penny was an active rider, in her native Yorkshire, and rode throughout her childhood years in the local riding school.

Since moving to Scotland she has rekindled her passion for all things equine and is actively seeking to use her role at HRS to improve the lives and welfare of horses throughout Scotland, but also the lives of everyone who comes into contact with them.

Penny lives with her husband and stepdaughter in Glasgow, both of whom also have a keen interest and passion for horses.

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