‘She was so loved’: rainbow shines out as ‘golden’ mare dies aged 46

  • A rainbow shone out above Redwings’ equine hospital as the sanctuary’s oldest resident died at the age of 46.

    H&H reported that Willow, who had lived at the sanctuary for over 20 years, was in fine health and condition as staff celebrated her birthday in January. The charity said “countless” supporters sent birthday messages, and BBS Radio Norfolk put together a playlist for the occasion.

    But on 15 March, the Welsh mare experienced a “sudden and severe” episode of colic.

    “Though the charity’s expert teams rushed to help and did everything possible for her, staff had to let her go to prevent her from suffering,” a Redwings spokesman said.

    Willow arrived at Redwings in 2003 after an RSPCA prosecution. She was initially wary of people as she had had very little handling but settled in to become a “friendly and much-loved girl and a favourite of all those who met her”.

    The rainbow over Redwings last Friday

    Redwings vet Dawn Trayhorn said: “While Willow’s grand age was rare, the specialist care we were able to provide her, thanks to our supporters, played a massive role in her enjoying such a long and healthy life, and I’m so proud to have been a part of that.

    “She was so loved by so many, and I feel for everyone who is grieving at this news. I’ve never known so many people come to say goodbye to a pony.”

    Ms Trayhorn added that it was the first time since the death of Phoenix, the foal who was badly burned in a stable fire, that a rainbow could be seen over the hospital.

    “Willow was our most golden of golden oldies and truly one of a kind,” she said. “We won’t forget her.”

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