Redwings Horse Sanctuary has launched its Christmas animation for 2023, which celebrates the life and legacy of Black Beauty author Anna Sewell, with a voiceover by Dame Joanna Lumley.
Watch the animation below.
The actor, presenter, author, and campaigner donated her services to the largest horse welfare charity in the UK for the project – which premiered on Redwings’ social media on Saturday 25th November.
The special event also celebrated Redwings’ new fundraising edition of Black Beauty, the world-famous novel launched on the anniversary of its original publication date.
Redwings is the custodian of Anna Sewell House, the birthplace of the author, on Church Plain in the town and has opened the historic building to the public, welcoming hundreds of visitors this year including Her Majesty the Queen!
Nicola Knight, Head of Communications and Campaigns at Redwings and a lifelong fan of Black Beauty, said:
“This year has been a whirlwind for us here at Redwings. We feel so honoured to have been given the opportunity to look after this special house and the wonderful partnerships we’ve developed because of it.
“This is the first time Black Beauty has directly raised funds for the animals Anna Sewell loved so much and we are indebted to the UEA for the opportunity to work with them on this beautiful edition of the book – which we hope will make it into many a Christmas stocking.
“Dame Joanna Lumley’s support on our animation is something we dreamed of and we’re so grateful for the generous gift of her time.Nicola Knight, Head of Communications and Campaigns at Redwings
“We have received some wonderful words from well-known fans of the book from the literary and animal welfare world for which we are so thrilled, and one of these, Master English Saddle Maker, presenter and author Suzie Fletcher, very kindly read a chapter for us at the event last night.
“The shared legacy of Anna and us here at Redwings – a desire, purely and simply, to create a better world for horses – is so intertwined that it feels serendipitous.
“We hope this animation will educate those who weren’t aware of the impact that Anna’s work had, and continues to have, hundreds of years later, on the welfare of horses.”
The Redwings-UEA special edition of Black Beauty – which is now on general sale – includes an original foreword by favourite children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson and an afterword by Professor Thomas Ruys Smith of the UEA.
Dame Joanna Lumley, who was not able to attend the night, said of the book launch:
“Sending my warmest good luck wishes for a terrific success, it is thrilling that Redwings will benefit, and I am certain that Anna Sewell is looking down with delight.”
The special edition is available to buy here for £9.99 or from all good bookshops. Half of all proceeds will go directly to the care of Redwings’ horses and ponies.