A miniature hero is in training with equestrian stars as she prepares to “compete” at this year’s Burghley Horse Trials.

World Horse Welfare Pamela, who stands at just 8.3hh, is set to become the smallest equine ever to participate in the event (31 August – 3 September).

Already backed by equestrian icons, including dressage legend Carl Hester, who are playing a key role in her training and with her ‘star rider’ yet to be revealed, Pamela is making quite a stir.

Pamela will be stabled on the Burghley showground so she meet her fans over the course of the event.

The diminutive mare was rescued in 2014 after World Horse Welfare field officer Jacko Jackson was alerted to a group of Shetland ponies in trouble. He found six ponies all suffering badly from laminitis.

Working with the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare took all the ponies to safety where they could begin treatment and rehabilitation.

Thanks to the hard work of the team at World Horse Welfare, Pamela made an “excellent recovery” and while her diet and exercise must be very carefully controlled, she has a bright future.

“Pamela is undoubtedly a surprise superstar and whilst we always knew she had excellent potential, I don’t think any of us could have imagined her taking part in such a world-class event as Burghley,” said World Horse Welfare Hall Farm manager, Sue Hodgkins.

“For any event horse, taking on their first major competition would be a daunting task, but with the backing of a few equestrian celebrity coaches and not to mention a professional rider to guide her round, I think Pamela is feeling pretty confident.”

Burghley event director Elizabeth Inman added: “Pamela was certainly a surprise late entry and once we had recovered from the initial shock at the prospect of a Shetland pony ‘competing’ at Burghley, we can now see that Pamela is no ordinary Shetland.

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“To have received the backing of so many equestrian stars goes to show just how talented this pony really is and we are delighted that Pamela has chosen Burghley to be her four-star debut.”

Pamela’s training videos will be released over the weeks leading up to Burghley and her celebrity ‘rider’ will be announced shortly before the event. Keep up with her progress by following #BurghleyPony and visiting: www.facebook.com/WorldHorseWelfare and www.facebook.com/BurghleyHorse

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