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Emaciated rescue pony gains 11st in six months before finding new home

Happy ending for rescued pony Oakley. Star and Laura Elsegood and Oakley and Leo. Pictures: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Happy ending for rescued pony Oakley. Star and Laura Elsegood and Oakley and Leo. Pictures: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

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Rescued pony Oakley was so weak he collapsed upon arrival at Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Happy ending for rescued pony Oakley. Pictures: Redwings Horse Sanctuary Happy ending for rescued pony Oakley. Pictures: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

But he has made a miraculous recovery to become the latest resident to benefit from the charity’s rehoming programme.

Seven-year-old 13hh Cob cross Oakley was given a warm welcome when he arrived at his new home with Guardian Laura Elsegood, and new best friend and rider Leo.

The sight of the happy and healthy pony walking down the ramp of his horsebox into his new home was a stark contrast to that of the emaciated weanling Redwings’ team first led into the ambulance following his rescue in 2011.

Oakley’s owner had contacted the charity asking for help after struggling to treat his pony’s severe worm infestation.

Happy ending for rescued pony Oakley. With Leo. Pictures: Redwings Horse Sanctuary Happy ending for rescued pony Oakley. With Leo. Pictures: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Oakley was incredibly weak and he had to be manually lifted by Redwings’ vet team day and night to prevent his skin forming nasty sores.

Despite concerns that he wouldn’t pull through, Oakley gained 11st within six months and has since gone on to spend many happy years living at Redwings’ Aylsham visitor centre, where he stood out as an excellent candidate for the rehoming programme.

Rachel Angell, Redwings’ operations manager who heads up the charity’s rehoming programme, said: “I remember the day Oakley arrived; we were in tears at the sight of him. His chances of pulling through were very slim but he amazed us all with his sheer determination to survive. Thinking back to how he was then and seeing him now makes me feel so proud.”

Oakley is among almost 500 Redwings horses living in Guardian homes with many going on to enjoy all kinds of disciplines from showing to cross country. Oakley has been rehomed as the perfect first pony for Leo, aged 11.

Leo’s mum Laura said: “A friend of mine rehomed Redwings’ Thyme and she is an amazing little pony that Leo learnt to ride on, so we kept an eye on the Redwings website to rehome a pony ourselves. When I saw Oakley I knew he would be the ideal first pony for Leo and friend for my ex-racehorse Star.”

For more information, visit www.redwings.org.uk/rehoming

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