Equine vets at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) – who usually deal with large competition horses – have turned their attentions to a rather smaller patient; a 29″ high pony suffering from a painful eye condition.

Prince, a four-year-old miniature pony, who works as a therapy horse, was referred to the AHT’s eye specialists in Newmarket suffering from entropion. The condition causes the eyelids to fold in, making the eyelashes grow inwards and irritate the eye. If untreated, animals with entropion can lose their sight.

Claudia Hartley, who is head of ophthalmology at the AHT, was able to operate and save Prince’s sight.

“He is an absolute darling!” she said. “It’s great for all of the team here when we can help such deserving cases. Enabling Prince to carry on with his therapy work, free of pain and discomfort, is really rewarding for all of us.”

Prince was able to return home to his owner, Amanda Poulton, shortly after his surgery and was expected to be back ‘on duty’, providing therapy at an event the same week.

Mrs Poulton explained: “My husband and I take him and our other pony, Applause, into hospices and local schools to aid the recovery of patients, or learning of students with special needs.”