Jenny Seagrove is one name that doesn’t need any introduction. The fantabulous actress has formed a formidable reputation for herself in the entertainment world, and has now turned her course towards animal love by setting up Mane Chance Sanctuary. An equine lover, Seagrove has rescued the animals and given them a place they can really call home.
''Mane Chance came about in desperate circumstances in 2011 when a friend rang to say she couldn’t afford to feed her large collection of animals, many of which she had rescued.’’
''It was one of those life-changing moments when you find a real purpose. Setting up a charity – a massive adventure.” She discussed how a phone call helped her find a purpose.
''I called a friend who found Monkshatch Garden Farm, where the owner let us rent the 47 acres we needed. A year later, we were offered it for sale.’’ Setting up the farm was not at all a hassle-free process.
''I had to sell my flat in London and ask Simrin, who has been amazing, to chip in.’’ Seagrove said she can’t thank philanthropist Simrin Choudhrie enough for her help.
At Mane Chance the horses are treated in a unique way. The management brought in James French, who pioneered the trust technique and his partner Shelley Slingo who have formed a close relation with the horses. The technique is similar to mindfulness and taps the relationship between horses and people.
''When all this began, I knew the horses would need therapy,” she says. “I asked James French, who I had known through his work as a reiki master for 20 years, and who is a renowned animal communicator, to help out.’’
''It’s about getting the limbic system – the part of the brain associated with emotions and memories – of horse and human - in sync,’’ says Seagrove.
The treatment of horses also started reciprocating on humans. ''We had groups of children and volunteers here, some of whom had their own issues, and a rapport and trust was building between some of the horses with the humans who seemed to need them most.’’
Many have already benefitted from, as Seagrove calls it, the “healing herd.” Students under the Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme keep visiting on weekends. Terminally ill kids have also developed a deep bonding with the horses when they visit from their hospice at Christopher’s in Guildford in the summer months.