A pony was dumped in a field has won his first rosette in a showing class.
Beans, a gypsy cob colt, was found in April 2013 tethered in a field in Hatfield, Herts, underweight and with a serious infection.
He was rescued by the RSPCA after the charity was contacted by a dog walker.
“He had been hidden away from all the others and it took an age to find him,” said RSPCA inspector Mel Fisher. “He was on a tether with no food or water and he had an infection on his sheath which was just dripping down his legs.
“He needed a lot of veterinary treatment, which is why we think he may have been dumped. The Royal Veterinary College provided me with a vet certificate to be able to remove him and I remember he was very lethargic and quiet. He found walking difficult as he was sore as well as weak due to the untreated infection.
“He was such a character though and was really trying his best to get to the trailer but access was tricky so the poor chap had a long walk to get to the loading site.
“The vet fell in love with him as he was such a little softie and tried his best to co-operate while the vet was trying to treat him. He was in a sorry state and it was touch and go whether he would make a recovery at all.”
Beans was taken to Hampden Veterinary Hospital, in Aylesbury.
After his stay there he was adopted by nursing assistant Lisa Penman.
Last month he took part in a show at Herts County Showground, where he came second in a rescue class and received his first rosette.
“I remember Beans arriving in a bad way,” said Lisa. “He was so quiet and easy to handle for such a young horse.
“While we were looking after him, one of the vets said to me that Beans would be great for my little girl Poppy — and the thought was lodged into my brain. As soon as he was well enough, I adopted him.
“He was a little nervous at first but he is an absolute star. When I backed him in in April, he didn’t put a foot wrong. He is very trusting in me.
“One of my friends told me about the rescue horse class so we entered. Beans took it all in his stride and he excelled at it. He was great. We are so proud.
“It’s awful to think what he has been through in the past but Beans has now got a home for life with me. We absolutely love him to bits and everyone who meets him falls in love with him.”