A charity that helps horses and ponies is celebrating a milestone this year - the golden anniversary of its time in Burnley.

The year 2024 marks the 50th year Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA)'s headquarters and operations were first based in the town.

Staff and volunteers at HAPPA would like local businesses, friends, and supporters to join in this celebration.

When the charity began to struggle to meet the demand for its service at their first home Capel Manor, London, HAPPA made the much-needed move to Greenbank Farm in Fence in 1974.

HAPPA’s chief executive officer, Sarah Arthur, said: “This year is such a significant milestone in HAPPA’s history.

"Having a secure and steady future was key to the charity coming to Burnley. Fifty years ago, Pam and local HAPPA supporters and friends made this happen, and we want to recognise and celebrate just how much has been achieved.

"I know that there are so many people who remember our time at Greenbank Farm, and those who have watched the charity grow at Shores Hey Farm.

"This year we want everyone to get involved in making sure HAPPA can be here for another 50 years, and more, to give a second chance to neglected, abused and unwanted horses, ponies, and donkeys.”

When a local horsewoman and avid HAPPA supporter, Pam Wood, offered her own farm as the charity’s rescue home, so began a remarkable time in HAPPA’s history.

The move to the North of England ensured that the charity had a settled and secure base to continue to rescue horses, ponies and donkeys from cruelty and neglect.

A move to the charity’s own premises, Shores Hey Farm, in Briercliffe, in 1984, cemented HAPPA’s place in the town.

The then cattle farm has been developed over the last 50 years into the  equestrian facility and visitor attraction seen today.

This has only been possible due to the support of the local council and community who have embraced the charity’s cause.

Roll on 50 years, and HAPPA continues to make history in Burnley; helping thousands of equine owners across the county with help and advice on how to care for their animals and thousands more horses, ponies and donkeys who have called Greenbank, or Shores Hey Farm their home.

The charity is hosting several events and activities to celebrate the prestigious year, with tickets on sale now for their Golden Anniversary Ball.

Glitz, glam and great entertainment will be on the cards at HAPPA’s Golden Anniversary Ball at The Fence Gate on Saturday, April 20.

Guests will be treated to a three-course meal and entertainment by Nathan Moore.

Tickets for this event can be purchased at the HAPPA website or by calling 01282 455992.

There will be lots more from HAPPA during 2024, the charity looks forward to celebrating with supporters, businesses, and friends.