Posted on May 30th, 2019

Young pony jumped on roadside in Norwich finds safe home at Redwings

A six-month-old pony, believed to have been dumped beside a busy road in Norwich, is receiving urgent veterinary treatment at Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

The young colt, who has been named Buddy, was discovered very underweight, with his hooves in a poor condition and suffering from a severe worm burden. He was also extremely nervous.

However, while it remains early days in his treatment, Redwings’ veterinary team believe he was found just in time and should go on to make a full recovery.

Norfolk Police were called to the A140 Ipswich Road, just outside the Holiday Inn near Harford Bridge, in the morning of Saturday 11th May, after Buddy had been spotted straying dangerously close to the busy road.

Due to Redwings’ expertise in horse handling, Norfolk Police called upon the charity, whose headquarters are based south of Norwich, for help.

Redwings Senior Field Officer Julie Harding arrived and, together with the police officers, managed to catch Buddy and transport him to the Sanctuary, where he was immediately provided with a cosy stable, food and water.

With no owner sadly able to be traced, Norfolk Police are now signing over ownership of Buddy to Redwings where he has been pledged a safe, forever home.

Julie said: “Poor Buddy has been through a terrifying ordeal. To have been dumped on the side of a busy road, endangering not just him but road users too, and especially when he was so ill and young, is appalling.

“Due to the danger Buddy was put in and his poor health, there was no question that he needed to be brought into the safety of the Sanctuary, where he’ll receive all the care he needs for life.

“For the first few days at Redwings, Buddy was very fearful but he is slowly learning to trust us. He is still going through our own veterinary assessments, but we’re hopeful he will make a full recovery.”

Redwings is a registered charity 100% funded by donations from the public. A donation of £10 could fill a stable with warm bedding for a poorly horse, like Buddy, while £250 could fund a month’s care.

To support Buddy and his fellow rescued residents at the Sanctuary, call 01508 481000 or visit

Posted on May 30th, 2019

Ronnie Lee Jones takes the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round at Bicton Arena

The Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Rounds took place at Bicton Arena’s Summer Spectacular Show on Sunday and it was Ronnie Lee Jones who clinched the win.

With only two qualifying tickets up for grabs for the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Championship Final, which will be held during Horse of the Year Show in October, all combinations were aiming to cross the finish line with a treble clear. From an initial starting field of seventy-eight, only four combinations went on to produce a treble clear which meant that the allocation of the qualification places came down to the clock.

Ronnie Lee Jones from Dunmow in Essex steered Ruth Dowie’s Interstar B, a 6-year-old Dutch bred gelding by I’m Special De Muze, into the top spot after producing an immaculate treble clear in 40.67 seconds. Nicole Pavitt couldn’t quite reach the Ronnie’s time aboard Matt Pike’s Southend, winners of the Senior Foxhunter Second Round on the previous day, but they claimed the second ticket on offer.

Josh Hutchins claimed third place with the Billy Stud’s Billy Alpen; fourth place and the final treble clear went to Alice Watson and her own Cloud No.9 whilst fifth place was awarded to Hayley Webster and Caroline Ross’ Cassilanda H Z.

The top two combinations secured their place in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Championship Final at Horse of the Year Show and the top five took home the chance to compete in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Masters at the British Showjumping National Championships.

Photo: ESP Photographic

Posted on May 30th, 2019

Equine Influenza remains a significant threat to the welfare of the UK horse population

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) is advising horse owners to remain vigilant and take all necessary precautions to minimise the threat of equine influenza (EI); as outbreaks of the disease continue to occur nationwide.

The AHT is continuing to confirm outbreaks of the disease, with last week seeing the second highest number of confirmed outbreaks in one week since the start of 2019.

Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, at the Animal Health Trust, said “As the competition season is getting into its busiest period the number of outbreaks is likely to continue to rise with the movement of horses across the country. Flu is still as much of a threat as it was earlier this year. Our advice to horse owners remains the same; be aware of the clinical signs of equine influenza and boost your horse’s vaccination if it was given more than six months ago.  Importantly isolate new arrivals on your yard and continue to practice good biosecurity at competitions and at home”.

Equine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the equine influenza virus. The virus is spread from horse to horse via respiratory droplets by direct contact as well as coughing and via indirect contact where appropriate biosecurity is not being followed. The virus relies on this transmission to new horses to survive and one of the most notable features of flu is the very quick spread of clinical signs in groups of horses and its ability to spread large distances in the air.

Dr Newton added, “We are still urging all competition and event organisers to support vaccination within 6 months in order to maximise the chance of horses having protective immunity.  If all parts of the equestrian community pull together we stand a much better chance of containing these outbreaks which show no sign of abating.”

Advice on equine flu, including information on precautions horse owners can take can be found at


Posted on May 9th, 2019

International athletes line up to contest the 2019 FEI Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International

There are just two weeks to go until the 2019 Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International, incorporating the FEI Eventing Nations Cup. This year the event runs from 23rd – 26th May and will, as usual, welcome riders from across the globe.

Fifteen nations will be represented, from Spain and Sweden to Brazil, Canada and Australia. Entries for the headline ‘CCISO4*’ class, which incorporates the only British leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, are strong – but will any team successfully challenge the winner of the previous four years, Germany?

Serious contenders for victory in this competitive class include recent Badminton Horse Trials winner Piggy French, who brings forward Cooley Monsoon and Graf Cavalier. Piggy’s fellow team gold medallist from last year’s World Equestrian Games, Gemma Tattersall also has two chances with Jalapeno III and Santiago Bay, while overseas riders to watch are Ingrid Klimke (GER) and Vittoria Panizzon (ITA). Vittoria has entered her punchy little grey mare, crowd favourite Borough Pennyz.

Other top riders throwing their hats in to the ring at Houghton include Eventing icon Lucinda Green, past Badminton winner Sam Griffiths, another British World Championship team gold medallist Tom McEwen and Swedish team medallist Ludwig Svennerstall.

Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International also plays host to, and sponsors, the British Eventing Under 21 Championships. The on-form Heidi Coy, who took individual silver at last summer’s Junior European Championship, has four horses entered – including her medal winning Royal Fury, and it would be hard to bet against her topping the leaderboard at Houghton. Bubby Upton is likely to be her biggest threat – Cola III is a previous seven-year-old Young Horse champion and finished second at Houghton last year, while Eros DHI should also be in contention.

Running alongside the International event, there are showjumping, combined training, dressage, arena eventing and pony club classes, as well as the popular Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers, while new for this year is an invitation only Varsity challenge between teams from Oxford and Cambridge.

For those less horse-orientated there will be ‘have a go’ dog agility hosted by Riding for the Disabled, Musketeer’s charity for this year, children’s entertainment, over 70 tradestands, food outlets, and a licenced bar.

One option worth considering is camping on site. This is a truly unique opportunity as camping is not allowed at Houghton Hall at any other time of the year. Camping packages can cover anything from one night to the whole event.

Tickets can be bought in advance via the website, and on the Gate, which opens at 8.30am every day.

Posted on May 7th, 2019

Bransby Horses reveals plans for their Summer Fayre

Lincolnshire-based equine charity, Bransby Horses, is hosting their 44th annual Summer Fayre on Sunday 2nd June. Last year, the Summer Fayre attracted a record number of visitors and it is hoped the Fayre this year will be another success for the charity. For many in the area, it is a chance to visit the local gem, take the family for a day out and meet some of the 400 animals the charity looks after across 600 acres of beautiful countryside.

Entry to Bransby Horses is free and the charity has confirmed they will have more activities than ever this year. There will be horse demonstrations, a trailer training and loading demonstration, a riding team display, falconry, children’s play zone, arts and crafts, a dog show, dog agility display, shopping (including a second hand tack sale), glitter tattoos, charity stands, a barbecue and a wide selection of food available. There will also be the usual picturesque walkways available to enjoy a stroll, so families can visit some of the horses, donkeys and mules who are living there.

Visitors can travel by car as there is plenty of parking (suggested donation £1) but Stagecoach will also be providing a free local bus service from Lincoln City Centre Bus Station which runs through Saxilby and stops at the Visitor Centre at Bransby Horses. Bus times and stop details can be found here

Having celebrated their 50th anniversary last year, the charity has also recently confirmed they have almost reached 1,000 equines in their care. More than 400 equines living on site and 500 rehomed but continuing to receive support from the charity. In fact, last year alone, the charity helped rescue and rehabilitate 93 horses, donkeys and mules showing how the role of public support continues to be pivotal to the continuation of the work the charity do.

Vicky Varney, Event Coordinator at Bransby Horses said: “The Summer Fayre is quite honestly one of my favourite events of the year as it brings our team and animals together with neighbours, supporters, animal-lovers and families looking for a fun day out. It is a really good community event and as well as raising money for us to continue our work, it gives us the chance to catch up with friends and meet new people, share our knowledge and lots of our stories. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of the public and we are always touched by the distance some people travel to visit us. Thank you everyone!”

For further information please visit