Abandoned foal found in freezing field goes on to compete in British Eventing

  • An abandoned foal found in a freezing field with his emaciated mother has gone on to enjoy competing in British Eventing (BE) classes.

    Lucas, who was 10 months old, was rescued by World Horse Welfare in 2013 after being discovered with a small group of horses with little food or shelter, and still feeding from his mother, who was in foal again.

    Colleen Macrae, of Fife, rehomed Lucas as a two-year-old.

    Colleen said: “It was love at first sight. I was searching for a horse who would be a general all-rounder. In order to do that, I wanted a youngster who seemed bright, curious and willing to learn.

    “When I first went to visit Lucas at Hall Farm, we walked a little around the field together, getting to know one another. He was completely obsessed with my gloves so I took one off and threw it about 20 metres away from me. To my surprise he went trotting off to go and fetch it and we repeated it several times as if he was a Labrador. After that, I knew he would fit into our family perfectly.”

    Colleen backed Lucas, now 15.2hh, to ride and said his love is jumping.

    “He was more than happy for me to saddle him, ride him and go out hacking. It wasn’t until he started having to use his brain more in the dressage arena that the teenage strops came out. Thankfully we’ve worked through it, and he’s now beginning to enjoy his flatwork, and has a real aptitude for learning,” she said.

    “He’s a very confident ride both showjumping and across country, with an impressive amount of scope for such a little horse.”

    Lucas has now started his competition career, in working hunter, eventing and TREC, in which he won his section at the Scottish Championships last year.

    This year we made our BE debut with two BE80 runs where he demonstrated two ever-improving dressage tests, followed by fabulous jumping rounds,” said Colleen.

    Colleen said Lucas, who is now six, is still very green in his flatwork but this is “starting to come together”.

    “Next year we are aiming to complete several BE90s with the intention on finishing the year with a BE100 if all goes well. In the long run, I’d love to see how we progress up through the eventing levels but we’re in no hurry,” she said.

    “Lucas has the sweetest nature I’ve ever come across in a horse. He loves little children, and is completely in his element when being brushed and pampered by them.

    “Being able to provide a second chance of life for a rehomed equine is the most rewarding experience. There’s always a rescue horse or pony out there for someone, whether that’s an ex-racer, an unbroken youngster or a wee companion pony.”

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