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A dozen rescue ponies found new homes at this year’s Equifest, including one who went home with his new owners after the show.

The equines spent the weekend (12 – 13 August) at the Peterborough event — their first show since being rescued by the RSPCA.

Visitors and competitors visited the charity’s stand to learn about its work and meet the ponies, and some people were so taken by them, they reserved them on the spot.

Paul and Lesley James, who were competing at Equifest, went home to Ayrshire with an extra equine having adopted rescued Billy, with whom their six-year-old daughter Amelia had fallen in love.

“Stabled at the event were 16 ponies who have blossomed in our care, and were ready to find their new homes — so we are delighted that 12 were reserved,” said RSPCA chief inspector Cathy Hyde.

“Some, like Billy, even went home with their new owners on the last day of the show as we were able to have home checks carried out swiftly by regional volunteers.”

This was the charity’s sixth year at Equifest.

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“As always, the special RSPCA and PRP Rescue Services rescue horse/pony of the year competition was a roaring success, with many familiar faces of ponies we have rehomed in the past and their adopters coming back to strut their stuff in the arena, and also plenty of new faces of ponies more recently happily rescued from suffering and neglect,” said Ms Hyde.

“We are delighted that Buggy, a little pony rehabilitated by World Horse Welfare, was crowned the winner this year and Delamere Kaleidoscope ‘Doris’, who was rescued by Equine Emergency Services in 2012, was named reserve champion. Buggy’s trophy was given by the RSPCA Bolton branch.”

Six in-hand and ridden classes took place before the grand finale in the show’s Saturday night performance.

“We saw some very moving transformation stories this year, and the horses really are a credit to the rescue organisations that found them, and their new owners,” added Ms Hyde.