An “awesome” rescued pony who has turned his hoof to jumping, hunting and polocrosse in his new home has now shown he can shine at polo.
In his six-and-a-half years with rehomer Grace Cooper, World Horse Welfare Starsky has proved to be the ultimate all-rounder, and he added another string to his bow by being part of the Durham University Polo Club team, which achieved third place in its section at the Schools and
Universities Polo Association winter national championships (8 February).
It is thought he is the first equine rehomed by the charity to take part in the sport.
“He can just do everything,” Grace told H&H.
“We’ve done mounted games, showjumping, eventing, pony racing, hunting every season, polocrosse and now polo.
“He gets bored if you stick to one thing for too long!”
Starsky was one of four foals – Cagney, Lacey, Starsky and Hutch – born to mares rescued in May 2004, and Grace met him seven years later, after she lost her pony to cancer.
“We didn’t really have the money for another pony and I thought it would be nice to rehome a rescued one, plus I knew some of the World Horse Welfare grooms,” Grace said.
“So we went to [Penny Farm] and I fell in love with him. He used to be the farm’s adoption pony and he loved being watched by everyone; he’s a bit of a diva.”
Grace and Starsky also appeared at Burghley last year, as finalists in the people’s choice category of the World Horse Welfare rehomed horse of the year awards.
And she would recommend anyone looking for a horse or pony to consider rehoming.
“It’s a no-brainer really,” she said. “You get a lovely pony, and you’re not only giving it a home, you’re freeing up a space for another one in need.
“They tell you everything, and if anything happens in future, you’ve got peace of mind that the pony can go back to World Horse Welfare.
“It’s also about seeing ponies’ potential who might not have shown it otherwise; he’s a cob who could have been pulling a cart, but he doesn’t know that, he thinks he’s a racehorse. He’s just been awesome.”
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World Horse Welfare deputy chief executive Tony Tyler said: “Starsky is a great example of the many things our rehomed horses and ponies are capable of and through his time with Grace, he’s turned his hoof to a wide range of activities and disciplines showing his amazing versatility.
“We have many other horses and ponies like Starsky currently looking for homes on our rehoming scheme so I would urge anyone thinking of getting an equine to have a look on our website.”
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