‘Flying the flag for rescued horses’: final farewell to ‘very special’ rescue pony

  • A welfare charity is remembering a “very special” pony who “championed the cause” of rehoming rescue horses.

    Redwings, which has in 2021 recorded a record-breaking year for its rehoming scheme, has paid tribute to Noel, who died in November aged 25. The part-bred Arab was rescued in 1998 by Ada Cole Memorial Stables, which merged with Redwings in 2005, alongside his companion Mistletoe.

    “The pair had been left to fend for themselves while their owner was in prison. They were both underweight and infested with lice, and Noel had a significant worm burden,” said a spokesman for the charity.

    In 2001 Noel was rehomed by Hayley Ward and the pair went on to enjoy success in showing and showjumping.

    “Throughout their time together, Noel and Hayley won countless rosettes and trophies and were supreme champions of the Kimpton Horse Show in Hertfordshire a record-breaking three times,” said the spokesman.

    Hayley said when Noel arrived, the pair “just clicked” and he had been a “superstar” ever since.

    “He was an absolute cheeky monkey but was just cracking and won so much for me. Our successes always meant so much to us but were always even more of an achievement because of Noel’s background,” she said.

    “Everyone knew he was a Redwings pony, and he would always be included in publicity – flying the flag for rescued horses – which always made it extra special.”

    During 2021 Redwings rehomed 128 horses and ponies, more than 50% more than 2020.

    “As the sanctuary has been operating at capacity for many years, this milestone is an important one, and emphasises that one of the most important ways we can continue to help more horses in need is to try to make space through rehoming,” said Rachel Angell, head of Norfolk equine operations.

    “2021’s record figure is a testament to the hard work of our teams throughout the sanctuary who work tirelessly to rehabilitate our rescued horses, so they can go on to enjoy lives in guardian homes.”

    Rehoming an equine from Redwings is free of charge, but £50 is requested towards the cost of its passport, and additional donations are welcomed by the charity. Visit www.redwings.org.uk/rehoming to find out more.

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