Colic claims life of sanctuary’s much-loved miniature Shetland

  • Redwings staff have been devastated by the loss of a long-term resident who “always brightened up the day”.

    The charity paid tribute to “much-loved” miniature Shetland Wensley, who was put down on 4 January aged 16 owing to colic.

    A spokesman for Redwings said 7.3hh Wensley arrived at the charity’s Oxhill centre when he was a few months old in June 2004 as part of a large group who had been rounded up on the Lincoln commons.

    “They had been turned out on the common and left to fend for themselves, receiving no basic care. The group had become semi-wild and there were a number of welfare issues as well as lots of in-breeding so a number of the younger ponies including Wensley were left with deformities and needed specialist veterinary care,” she said.

    “No ownership could be established so no one was ever prosecuted. There were 72 ponies in total; 49 came to Redwings and 23 went to Bransby Horses.”

    Wensley, who was named after the cheese along with companions including Edam, Zola, Gorgy, Cheddar and Stilton, was not suitable for rehoming owing to his poor conformation.

    “Wensley was selected to be an adoption star and help us raise funds for the charity instead and he did a great job,” said the spokesman.

    “He was just such a draw at our visitor centre because he was so tiny and cute. He and his little friends always had to know what was going on. He was quite cheeky too and loved to stick his tongue out.”

    The spokesman said Wensley spent time in a veterinary hospital over Christmas owing to sudden bouts of colic and while the vets were “hopeful” he would recover, his condition quickly deteriorated on 3 January.

    “He had a number of issues we can only assume were related to his breeding, including locking stifles and intermittent lameness, so sadly despite his relatively young age he was already on regular pain medication,” she said.

    “He was also on treatment for PPID (Cushing’s syndrome) and had been having ongoing issues with his teeth – colic surgery just wasn’t an option for him unfortunately.”

    The spokesman added the gelding would not be forgotten.

    “Everyone at Redwings is truly devastated by the sudden loss of this very special boy and we know this will be felt greatly by his supporters too,” she said.

    “He always brightened up the day and will be very much missed.”

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