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Three welfare cases become ‘treasured’ members of new families

The “heart-warming” achievements of three former welfare cases are being celebrated as they thrived in 2019.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s 11.2hh mare Strawberry Shortcake found a loving new home, while 12.2hh mare Stitch and 16.2hh gelding Bear shone in competitions with their rehomers.

A spokesman for the charity said five-year-old Strawberry was found alone, severely underweight and suffering from diarrohea at a horse fair in 2016.

Strawberry Shortcake and Ruby

“Now this beautiful girl has become the first to be rehomed from our new rehoming centre, which opened at Caldecott visitor centre in Norfolk, this summer,” said the spokesman.

“She was given a new home in October with guardian Kim and her daughters Poppy and Millie, aged seven Ruby, aged four.”

Kim met Strawberry when visiting the centre in the summer.

“We saw her being tacked up for one of her training sessions. The team told us she would be looking for a home as a lead-rein pony and I instantly fell in love with her. Everything they said about her sounded perfect for us,” said Kim.

“I kept her arrival as a surprise for the girls and they came home from school to find her in the paddock. She is doing really well and her little character is starting to shine. We are taking things slowly with her and hopefully next year we might be able to start thinking about some shows. She is very much loved and the girls think the world of her.”

Stitch was rehomed by the charty in 2013 and the 11-year-old made her competition debut at the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) national championships (12 to 14 July), with her guardian Rebecca.

Stitch and Rebecca

“Poignantly her debut marked a decade since her rescue, alongside 10 other ponies who were discovered abandoned, in poor condition and suffering from worm burdens,” said the spokesman.

“Stitch and Rebecca competed at the RDA Magpie Centre near King’s Lynn, where they qualified for the regional competition. A second place in this took them to the national championships, where they competed in the intellectual disability dressage championships and came third out of 25.”

Rebecca said Stitch is not just her competition ride, but also her therapy pony.

“I have dyspraxia and autism, and she is always there for me on the good or bad days with my balance or coordination problems,” she said.

“Over the last year she has built up my confidence and ability in riding as she is always so patient and understanding when I am struggling.”

Bear, who was rehomed by the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies before it merged with Redwings in February, made his debut representing Wales at the Pony Club home international competition with his guardian Grace.

Bear and Grace

“This handsome boy was found with eight other horses, stranded in deep mud, malnourished and frightened,” said the spokesman.

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“Last year, Grace and Bear were selected to ride at the Pony Club championships and in the British Dressage youth team, and this year the pair were chosen to compete as part of the Welsh team at the Pony Club dressage home international at Royal Windsor where Wales came second.”

Redwings chief executive Lynn Cutress said it is “heart-warming” to hear of the achievements of rescued horses and ponies.

“Whether they’re competing in national championships, or simply enjoying a happy life as companions, seeing them become treasured members of new families is incredibly rewarding for everyone involved in their rescue and rehabilitation.”

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