A group of 22 Shetland ponies named after Beatrix Potter characters have been nursed back to health after they were found in appalling conditions.

The ponies were found in Leicestershire earlier this year, belly-deep in mud, with no food or water. Sadly, some had to be put down due to the severity of their condition.

Some of the Shetlands after their rescue at the Blue Cross, Burford

Following the successful prosecution of their owner for neglect, the surviving 22 Shetlands were taken to Blue Cross’s rehoming centre in Oxfordshire.

Vicki Alford, horse manager at the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Burford, said it was “heart-breaking” to see the sad state the ponies were in on their arrival.

“All had overgrown and curled-up hooves, were riddled with lice and very underweight,” she said.

“The transporter who brought them to Burford described the place where they were found as horrific – apparently there was no food or water and they were stood in mud up to their tummies. How they survived is anyone’s guess.

“After love and care from the team here many have already gone to new homes and we couldn’t be happier to see them go to loving new families where they can live a happy life.”

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The horse team at the charity’s rehoming centre on Shilton Road have been working with the group to rehabilitate them.

Flopsy and Mrs Tittlemouse are still looking for new homes, while four others — Timmy Tiptoes, Babitty Bumble Bee, Mrs Tiggy Winkle and Hunca Munca — are still waiting to be cleared for rehoming by the horse unit team.

For more information on the Shetlands, visit: www.bluecross.org.uk

In this week’s magazine, out on 5 July, don’t miss our bumper show guide issue, with complete show listings for 2018 plus features on keeping horses sound on hard ground, the best show venues in Britain and much more.

In this week’s H&H interview, we talk to international event rider Izzy Taylor and check out our new feature ‘Fix it’ — Laura Tomlinson on improving a horse’s self-carriage. Read reports from across the disciplines over the weekend, including dressage action from Sheepgate, showjumping from Royal Highland and more.