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Community

18 July, 2022

Horse sanctuary gives a loving home to equines

The not-for-profit is calling on the Cape York community to lend a hand.


HORSES are in Ruth Pattie’s blood and her love for equines has blossomed into a full-time, not-for-profit sanctuary.

Along with her husband Marty and their six daughters, Mrs Pattie runs the Helenvale Horse Sanctuary and Therapeutic Centre at their property near Kalkajaka National Park, half an hour from Cooktown.

“I just have an affinity for looking after horses, and I got a bit of a reputation,” Mrs Pattie told Cape York Weekly.

“I ended up with all these horses and was wondering how we could afford it, so I started a not-for-profit.”

The sanctuary currently has 14 horses, most of them elderly, who found their way from all over Far North Queensland.

Some were unwanted and neglected, others are retired racehorses saved from euthanasia, while there are also brumbies and old horses whose owners have passed away.

Mrs Pattie gives them all a loving permanent home and works to heal their souls and bodies with a high-quality diet, regular vet attention, therapy and lots of love.

“I don’t profess to know everything about horses; I’m learning everyday from them and about them,” she said.

“They are here to stay, to be cared for and loved until their time is up – we don’t rehome horses ever, we give them a forever home, a sanctuary.”

While the Pattie family’s love comes for free, the food, supplements, accessories and vet bills don’t.

“The vet comes monthly, and our last bill was $4000,” Mrs Pattie said.

“As well as their hooves, their teeth are done annually, vaccinations, daily food and supplements – it costs a hell of a lot of money.

“I have one awesome ex-owner who loves her horses but knew they would be better off here, and she pays their bills, but apart from that we don’t get much financial support.”

Mrs Pattie said she would love to expand the sanctuary to take in more horses, offer education to help people better care for their horses and offer riding for differently abled people.

“What I really need is someone who knows how to write grants to help me; I need horse floats or a truck, fencing, stalls and just to help pay the everyday bills,” she said.

For those wanting to support the sanctuary, financial donations, or feed and equipment in good condition were welcomed, she said, as well as volunteer fencing and handyman work.

In addition to taking in horses, the sanctuary offers support and advice on all things horse-related.

“We have a big knowledge base among our supporters and are always here to help.”

For more information, or to reach out to the sanctuary and offer support, you can call Mrs Pattie on 0487 039 380.


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