LOCAL EQUINE welfare charity are keeping fingers, toes and hooves crossed that their patron will be ‘Rippon up the dancefloor’ in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. 

Angel Rippon is a patron of South West charity Mare and Foal Sanctuary and is appearing on this year’s Strictly. The charity are backing her all the way and are taking the chance to thank her for all she does for them. 

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s trustees, staff and volunteers will be with her every ‘quick step’ of the way through her newest journey on the show.

Dawn Vincent, Director of Fundraising and Communication, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to extend our support to Angela as she competes in this year’s competition. She has been a wonderfully supportive patron for The Mare and Foal Sanctuary since 2019 and we wish her all the best. All our sanctuary teams across the South-West will be enthusiastically rallying behind her. “

For decades Angela has captivated audiences with her charisma, grace and unyielding commitment to excellence – something she also is bringing to the ballroom. 

Last weekend, she danced the foxtrot with dance partner Kai Widdrington to You Make Me Feel So Young and received glowing feedback from all judges. Head judge Shirley Ballas told her: “Of the whole evening, your frame is the best…you show that dance has no age limits, you are absolutely fantastic.”

Angela was born in Plymouth and started her career as a presenter on BBC Spotlight before heading to London in 1975 to become the first woman journalist to permanently front the national Nine O’clock News.

Most recently she has co-presented the BBC consumer shows Rip Off Britain and Holiday Hit Squad and has been a keen horsewoman.

Angela has been fundamental to the cause of the charity and has championed its work since becoming a patron in 2019. Along with patron John Nettles, Angela has been fundamental in the charity’s appeals and fundraising. 

“During the pandemic they both were really quick to respond to a request for help with appeals, “ Dawn continued.

“ When charity shops were closed a huge income stream disappeared. Angela has responded on our charity’s work as she embarks on her Strictly Journey, so we are really keen to support her so watch this space for some exciting video content.

“Charities really benefit from their ambassadors; Angela is very unique in her career… As she is ‘Rippon up the dancefloor,’ she is helping us raise the profile of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary just by being on the show and we’re really grateful for that.”

Speaking to The Mare and Foal Sanctuary about their recent work Angela said: “Congratulations to The Mare and Foal Sanctuary on your fantastic achievements over the past month. Thank goodness you have been there for the animals that have needed your support and sanctuary. The welfare and educational work you do are outstanding and unfortunately still necessary. So, please continue your brilliant work.”

The charity has over 600 horses in their care across Devon. They welcome and rely on donations, support, and those who purchase or donate at their second-hand shops.