An elderly pony has been rescued after being abandoned and tied to a gate post on a bridleway in Dorset.

The chestnut mare was discovered by a rider who was hacking along the path at Holt Heath, near Wimborne on Monday (27 October).

She has now been taken in by RSPCA who are appealing for information (see number below) about the pony.

The pony appears to have been reasonably well looked after and had a full set of new shoes and a neatly trimmed tail.

The pony was not microchipped but RSPCA animal welfare officer Jo Blackburn said she has a “crescent-shaped marking on her forehead which someone might recognise.”

“She was found tied up to a gate, but she didn’t have any food where she was. It looks like she may have been there since early on Monday or late on Sunday evening,” Ms Blackburn added.

“She’s sweet old pony and is really friendly, so it is a bit of a mystery why she was abandoned.”

Since being taken in by the RSPCA the pony has treated for some minor cuts but is otherwise in good health.

UK equine welfare charities have made repeated calls for horse identification legislation to be tightened so that it is compulsory for all animals to be microchipped, have a passport and be registered. This would mean that in cases like this the owners of the animal would be identifiable.

The European Union (EU) Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health announced changes last month (15 September), which will mean that every foal will now have to be issued with a single passport with a unique identification number before its first birthday.

Under the new regulations all horses born after the 1 July 2009 will have to be microchipped so that their records can be checked and updated and serve as a passport.

It will also be compulsory for all this information to be stored on a centralised database for all EU member states. However, these new rules will not come into forces until 2016.

If anyone has any information on the dumped pony they should call the RSPCA on 03001238018.

  • Amoxus

    Having just had my 19yr old 15hh horse put down because I am unable to
    give him the care he needed, can I just say that the £180 inclusive for
    tthe bullet at home (preferring the instant, no stress departure) the
    caring, understanding treatment he recieved before & after the deed
    and his ride to the crem afterwards, I don’t see the problem in paying
    what amounts to no more than a few weeks worth of feed and bedding. He
    was a well loved member of the family who valued his home comforts,
    whatever the cost he was worth it.

    I think if someone has equines the very first thing you need to do is put aside the cost of whichever method of release is favoured and not be sqeamish about it. Hopefully that time is many years away, but at some point it will arrive.

    I feel sorry for whoever did this, there may be other circs to this, he may even have been stolen, who knows,

    I hope there is a happy ending to this story, as you said, good luck and a long, happy life.

  • Felicity Berkeley

    Thank goodness it wasn’t injured or attempted to be killed – not that I agree but it sounds like someone who wasn’t able to get the help that was needed rescues so many are full. If you can’t afford to feed or keep how can you afford to put down. I should imagine knowing the Bridle path is well used hence knowing that their little friend would be found. Who knows it was either that to be found or someone in the family was going to do worse and hide the half killed body…
    To have been an older pony and reasonably looked after sounds like couldn’t afford anymore. Was left to be found…
    Again not to agree but to agree to be allowed not to be hurt… I should imagine (if possible) the person who abandoned poss kept an eye on from a distance or who knows may have been stolen and dumped…