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A trio of ponies who were captured in a public tennis court are seeking new homes.

Andre Agassi, Pancho Gonzales and Rafael Nadal — as they have been fondly named — were abandoned in December.

They were left to run loose in a Bishop Auckland park for more than a week, until some nearby residents tempted them into some tennis courts and closed the gates.

One of the rescuers called the RSPCA and a British Horse Society welfare officer provided more hay, water and a padlock for the gate to secure the ponies for the night so arrangements could be made for a more permanent solution.

The “tennis court trio” were then taken in by the RSPCA and no owners came forward to claim them.

With Wimbledon under way, the charity is hoping the ponies will find “their perfect game, set and match”.

“The boys are around one year old, and will be approximately 13hh when they are fully grown so potentially could make really smart children’s riding ponies,” said RSPCA equine rehoming officer Jacqui Wilson, adding the trio do not need to be rehomed together.

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“Andre, Pancho and Rafael are really friendly young colts who — like their namesakes — have a glittering future ahead of them.

“We would ideally like someone to foster them for a time until they are old enough for us to castrate them, then if they have fallen in love, they would be able to apply to fully adopt them.

“It’s really common for us to be called about abandoned horses, but particularly colts.

“Our 24-hour emergency line received more than 80 calls a day about horses last year and we also took in 980 horses — the highest number in four years — which shows just how sad the situation is.

“Unfortunately young horses like these are irresponsibly bred and have little or no value.”

Visit: www.rspca.org.uk/findapet/rehomeahorse for more information.

In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 28 June 2018, don’t miss our full report from the Hickstead Derby meeting, including all the showjumping and showing action, plus don’t miss our six-page report from Royal Ascot.

We also have a feature on the much discussed whip rules across the disciplines and in this week’s ‘Vet clinic’ we find out how to spot the signs of sand colic.