Pippa Funnell: ‘I would advise anyone thinking of buying a horse to phone World Horse Welfare first’

  • Eventer and World Horse Welfare patron Pippa Funnell paid a visit to the charity’s Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset to assess the potential of some of the horses and ponies that are almost ready for rehoming.

    “It’s been a huge honour to be involved with such a well-respected charity,” says Pippa.

    “I’ve seen their incredible attention to detail, great care and the emotional connection the team show towards all the horses. It’s been really touching. I would advise anyone thinking of buying a horse or pony to phone World Horse Welfare first and see what they have available.”

    Here Pippa gives her assessment of a promising 14.2hh cob:

    The horse

    Lucy, a 14.2hh six-year-old Skewbald cob mare

    The background story

    Lucy was part of a consignment of 26 horses rescued in 2015. She was unhandled and arrived with severely cracked feet, lice and a worm burden and was mildly lame behind. Groom Nicole O’Malley has given Lucy physiotherapy and the mare has received remedial foot trimming. She is currently being long-reined over poles and backed.

    The assessment

    “Lucy has a great temperament; she’s friendly and trusting,” says Pippa, who believes that the mare still has some growing to do.

    Glenda Spooner Farm manager Claire Dickie explains that many rescue cases carry on growing long after horses of a similar age and breed have stopped, due to having been neglected and kept short of food.

    “She’s a bit overweight,” notes Pippa, who is told Lucy is on restricted grazing. “But for a rehomer, finding a good doer is a handy thing — at least she’ll be cheap to keep.

    “She has good bone for her type and sturdy limbs. Her front leg leaves her shoulder in the right place, while she has good length from her hip to her hock and a sturdy back end.”

    Pippa can imagine Lucy as a hack. “She has a good walk, and that’s important even for a hack. She also has a good length of stride.”

    Continued below…

    As the mare trots around on the lunge and becomes more forward, Pippa notes that she looks less stiff behind.

    Nicole has been working towards backing the mare and, with Pippa holding the reins, Nicole leans over the saddle for the first time (pictured, above). Lucy remains completely calm.

    “You’ve done a good job with her,” Pippa tells Nicole. “I can see that Lucy’s the sort of pony who now has trust in people and with a competent rehomer to finish the job — and keep her on a diet — she’s going to be fabulous.”

    World Horse Welfare is Horse & Hound’s charity of the year for 2017. To donate visit worldhorsewelfare.org

    Don’t miss our full feature about Pippa Funnell’s visit to World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm in this week’s rehoming special of Horse & Hound magazine (5 October 2017)

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