Young girl given just 50% chance of life at birth and fostered rescue pony crowned lead rein champions

  • A little girl who weighed less than a bag of sugar when she was born is looking forward to spending Christmas with her rescue pony following a “wonderful” first summer together.

    Peyton Keir was given a less than 50% chance of survival when she was born prematurely at 24 weeks old, but the seven-year-old has “not let it stop her from fulfilling her horsey-dreams” with her pony Skip.

    Rebecca Cutts, Peyton’s mum, decided it was time to get her daughter a pony after spending a year shielding during the initial Covid outbreak. She approached Bransby Horses where they met Skip, who had been born at the charity to a rescued pregnant mare.

    “I just thought it might be something nice for us both to do together so we

    applied to foster a rescue pony from Bransby Horses,” said Rebecca, who had owned horses previously.

    “We took Skip on just to have some fun with and he has just been incredible. What he has brought to mine and Peyton’s life is hard to put into words. But he brings me sanity, he makes us laugh every day, he calms Peyton and he’s so cheeky, we love him to bits.”

    Peyton and Skip attended their first show together this summer, a month after Skip’s arrival with the family, and they won their class.

    “I was in tears. I was so proud of them both. It wasn’t something we ever expected when we decided to get a pony,” said Rebecca.

    “At the end of the summer we decided to go bigger and have a go at the Traditional of the Year Show. On the day we were up at 4am, at the stables for 5am and arrived at the showground in Olney for 8.30am.”

    Peyton and Skip won their 10-strong class, which put them forward for the championship in the evening.

    “I just looked at it as an amazing experience for him and Peyton and never thought for a minute we would get placed,” said Rebecca, adding that as they walked into the arena for the championship Queen’s We Are the Champions was being played.

    “It felt emotional from the start. I looked around at the competition and thought we had no chance but after we trotted him round and lined up, the man called over the speaker; ‘Champion and the traditional best lead rein of 2023 goes to Peyton and Bransby Skip’.

    “I couldn’t believe it. I had tears streaming down my face and poor Peyton was just in

    shock – she couldn’t believe it either. It was one of the best and proudest moments of my life. Peyton and Skip were utterly amazing. Skip was the best boy ever, he acted like a professional all day.”

    Rebecca added that the family is “so grateful” to Bransby Horses for giving them “such an amazing opportunity”.

    “We love our little Skip to the moon and back,” she said.

    A Bransby spokesman added that Skip has been “spoiled rotten” with treats and hugs ever since.

    “Peyton is now looking forward to spending Christmas with her favourite pony,” said the spokesman.

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