Abandoned colt becomes ‘Rolls-Royce’ hunting cob

A pony who was once unloved, emaciated and infested with lice, has become a “Rolls-Royce cob” who shines on the hunting field.

Elmo, who was abandoned as a youngster in the West Country in 2013, was taken in by a charity.

As soon as Kate Golding, from Bedfordshire, saw the 15hh gelding, she was “smitten”.

“With my children all grown up it was finally time to find a horse for me,” she said. “I’d done my time having hair-raising rides on my elder daughter’s eventer and bouncing about on my youngest daughter’s pony. I wanted a sensible ‘four-wheel drive’ cob and Elmo was it.”

Kate and an experienced friend worked with Elmo on the ground, and backed him as a four-year-old, since which time they “haven’t looked back”.

“He’s a Rolls-Royce of a cob,” Kate said. “He’s safe, sensible and very smooth to ride and he’s an absolute gentleman to look after. He has lovely paces and he jumps too.”

This season, Elmo has also made his debut on the hunting field, with the Cambridgeshire and Enfield Chace, with Kate’s friend’s daughter Charlotte Connelly in the saddle.

“He’s brilliant,” Charlotte said. “He doesn’t pull, he stands when asked and he’s sane and steady but with plenty of ‘go’ when we need it. Everyone loves him, not least me. It makes me wonder why I have never had a cob before!”

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Elmo is the original good doer, who “loves his grub” and could “get fat on thin air”, so Kate watches his weight, although he lives out much of the year.

“Another big bonus with Elmo is that he’s got great feet,” Kate added. “We have sandy land where we live and he’s happy to be barefoot. The farrier checks him every six weeks and always says his feet are fantastic.”

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