New “first of their kind” showing classes for the “rescue horse/pony of the year” are taking place at Equifest at the East of England Showground this weekend.
The competition is being run by the RSPCA and PRP Rescue Services.
The classes, which will take place on Saturday (18 August), have attracted 48 entries already – 26 for the in-hand and 22 for the ridden.
The top two competitors in each class in the Rescue Horse/Pony competition will go forward to the evening performance when the overall “Champion Rescue Horse of the Year” will be chosen.
The RSPCA’s Felledge Equine Centre in County Durham will be taking rescued horses to Equifest to compete, and also to try to find new homes for them.
RSPCA chief inspector Cathy Hyde said: “To receive almost 50 entries for the very first competition is more than we anticipated.
“We hope that the RSPCA’s presence at the show will highlight some of the heartbreaking equine welfare issues that we deal with and show that adopted horses and ponies go on to live happy and successful lives.
“We will also have eight horses and ponies at the event which are all looking for new homes and will be taking part in the competitions.”