‘He was lying lifeless on the floor’: Teddy the Shetland beats life-threatening illness

  • Instagram sensation Teddy the Shetland is back on his feet after suffering life-threatening illness last week.

    The two-year-old miniature Shetland, who boasts more than 90,000 Instagram followers, spent five days in the intensive care unit at Liphook Equine Hospital in Hampshire, returning home to owner Alice Goring on Sunday (6 May).

    “He was fine last Monday morning, though seemed sluggish when I got him in from the field that evening,” eventer Alice told H&H. “But when I put his dinner down he took one look and turned around and flopped to the floor. We called the vet immediately — Teddy was just lying lifeless on the floor, and couldn’t lift his head up.”

    The palomino was whisked to Liphook where he underwent a number of tests, which remained inconclusive, although the most likely explanation is that Teddy suffered a major allergic reaction to being wormed 24 hours prior to becoming ill.

    “The Liphook team were amazing,” said Alice, who won the amateur rider of the year title at last year’s H&H Awards. “They tested everything, but the only thing they found was that his white blood cell count was very low, and getting lower. Nothing really explained why he was so ill, and getting worse. We felt so helpless. Every night when I left the hospital I thought that would be the last time I saw him.”

    But on Thursday, Teddy turned a corner, and was able to return home on Sunday, though he will undergo further tests.

    “He was a bit quiet when he first got home, but was soon back to being king of the place,” said Alice. “I just never thought I’d see him in his stable again. We’ll give him a quiet few weeks now. He’s received love and get-well cards from all over the world.”

    As well as entertaining his legion of followers with his daily antics via Instagram, Teddy has also participated in several charity events and campaigns, being a mascot for Hannah’s Wilberry Wonder Pony Charity. As a therapy pony, he frequently visits hospices, schools and nursing homes, and is due to appear next at the Chelsea Flower show later this month, depending on how his recovery continues.

    He brightens the lives of so many people and absolutely adores children. We would have done whatever it took to get him better,” said Alice.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

    Also inside this week’s edition, 75 years of Royal Windsor Horse Show magic, ‘big dreamer’ sets up eventing grand slam bid and investment sparks debate over grass versus surfaces.

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