Cranberry the rescued Christmas pony wins first competition in new home

  • A pony rescued at Christmas from a site where at least one other horse has died has excelled in her new home — and won at her first competition.

    Cranberry, named as she and her companions were rescued in December three years ago, came first in an in-hand agility class with rehomer Robyn Bills.

    The coloured pony was four when she arrived with her herd at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm in 2018, having been removed from a site where they were likely to suffer, and where at least one other had died from complications of a large parasite burden.

    The ponies were all unhandled but were given careful training and rehab to ensure they were ready to go to new homes.

    Robyn said she was looking for a rescued pony to keep her older mare company.

    “We chose World Horse Welfare to rehome from as they were the charity that stood out,” she said. “The preparation that goes into these horses and ponies before rehoming is incredible.

    “When we went to view her, she came to us in the field and we just got that feeling she was the one for us.

    “Cranberry loaded and travelled impeccably, because of the training she underwent with the World Horse Welfare team. She settled in really well and is the sweetest, most honest pony we’ve come across — we love her endlessly.”

    Robyn backed Cranberry, with the aim of hacking and doing fun rides, and she has now been turned away for the winter.

    “I found agility was just another opportunity for us to spend time together,” Robyn said. “I thought it would be something helpful for Cranberry and a chance to get her out and about mixing with other ponies; I never thought she would take to it so well!

    “Hopefully it’s a step to helping her become a fully ridden, happy pony in the future, but she and I had great fun and I’m so proud of her coming first.”

    A World Horse Welfare spokesman said rehoming one of the charity’s equids is an “immensely rewarding experience”.

    “Most of the rehomed horses have had difficult lives before coming into the charity and rehoming offers them a vital second chance, as well as making space in the farms for more horses that desperately need help to be taken in,” she said.

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