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Rescued pony attends church with new owner

A rescue pony who found sanctuary in a new home received some extra blessings recently when his owner took him to church.

Titus now belongs to eight-year-old Lilly Smith, who decided to ride him along to the “bring your pet to church day” at the All Saints’ Church in her home village of Kilnwick in East Yorkshire.

“It was a really special opportunity for Lilly to take her beloved new pony to church and have him meet all of her friends, and of course, the priest,” said Lilly’s mum Jo Smith.

“Since we rehomed Titus in May this year he has been so calm and taken everything in his stride, we were confident he’d be happy to attend the service. We rode across the fields from our farm to the church and Titus was happy to walk right in through the doors.”

Titus wasn’t the only equine in the aisle, as he was joined by his pony pal Pepper as well as several local dogs.

“It was a lovely idea to encourage local families to come to church and make new friends, people absolutely loved seeing ponies there, it was a real talking point. Afterwards, we all stood in the church yard and enjoyed a cup of tea,” Jo added.

The Sunday service, organised by All Saint’s church warden Tim Bristow and led by the Rev Carole Aconley, was arranged to gather local families, children and pets in the parish to meet new friends, as well as to “give thanks for the way pets enrich our lives”.

Titus is now counting his blessings in his new home, having been found by the RSPCA in March 2016 in a herd of abandoned horses. All of them were thin, had overgrown hooves and were suffering with lice and worms.

The herd were initially cared for at RSPCA Felledge, a specialist equine centre in County Durham.

After a period spent recuperating, staff at the centre started work to back the 12hh coloured cob in the hope of finding him a new family.

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Titus was adopted by the Smiths following a chance visit to the centre by Jo.

“My sister has rehomed two wonderful rescue ponies from the RSPCA over the years and she was going to Felledge to collect her third, so I decided to tag along to have a look around,” she said.

“When I spotted Titus being ridden in the school there by the grooms, he caught my eye. As Lilly had always wanted to rehome a hairy black and white pony, I just knew straight away he’d be perfect. We came back another day to meet him properly and that was that – she’s been besotted with him ever since.”

Jo added that Titus was a “super little pony” who “couldn’t be faulted”.

“He’s settled into village life on our farm with his pony chums Pepper and Fizz so well and takes everything in his stride. We hope that he and Lilly will start doing lots of Pony Club activities together and other children in the village love to sit on him too, but for now, he and Lilly’s favourite thing is when we go for lovely long hacks together with me and my horse, it’s perfect.”

Learn more about rehoming a rescue horse or pony

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