Rehomed rescue horses shine on the eventing circuit

  • Two horses rehomed by a charity have been enjoying successful affiliated eventing careers.

    World Horse Welfare Harry Potter (pictured, top) and World Horse Welfare Norfolk Swing (“Dippy”) have put their tough start in life behind them to excel in their new homes.

    Dippy (pictured, below) was born at the charity after his mother was taken in by World Horse Welfare. Briony Gilks met him when she started working for the charity in 2011 and took him on as a three-year-old.

    Briony has now taken him up to novice-level eventing.

    The combination were also on the winning Carleton team at the British Riding Club eventing championships and represented Great Britain at the Riding Club World Championships in France last year, where the team finished third.

    “He’s quite quirky,” Briony told H&H. “But he’s a real poppet.”

    The nine-year-old grey gelding has also team chased at intermediate level and appeared in parades at Burghley and Blenheim to showcase what rehomed horses can go on to achieve.

    Briony said she would love to qualify him for a one-star.

    “I think rehoming is fantastic — a lot of people don’t realise there are so many youngsters on the World Horse Welfare website sitting there waiting for homes,” she said.

    “They don’t really look like anything as one- or two-year-olds — Dippy was the ugliest thing going — but now he has blossomed into a little swan.”

    World Horse Welfare Norfolk Swing

    Dippy as a foal

    Meanwhile Harry and rehomer Kate McCormack are preparing for their first run of the season at Millfied next month (13-14 May).

    The partnership have been competing at BE90 and BE100 level and scored a win at Calmsden last year.

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    “He’s quite competitive when he goes out,” she said.

    “We have been doing a lot of dressage with him this year and he has won his last four outings.

    “There’s no pressure on him or me to go out and do anything spectacular — it’s all about having fun.”

    “Harry” arrived at the charity as a foal in 2009. He was riddled with lice, underweight, un-handled and had not been castrated.

    World Horse Welfare Harry Potter

    Harry on arrival

    Kate found Harry through her sister, who works for the charity, and he is the second horse her family has rehomed.

    I got him as a complete blank canvas,” said Kate. “At first sight, he was not at all what I wanted — but he has turned into exactly what I want.”

    Kate was also quick to encourage others to try rehoming and to praise the help given by World Horse Welfare.

    “I think everyone should look into rehoming,” she said. “You get so much help and you are told everything — their whole history — and the charity wants to find the best home for them.”

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