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Great Yarmouth horse sanctuary mourning loss of beloved rescue pony Oliver Twist

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:03 05 April 2018

A beloved rescue pony called Oliver Twist has died after almost 20 years at Redwings' Horse Sanctuary. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

A beloved rescue pony called Oliver Twist has died after almost 20 years at Redwings' Horse Sanctuary. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

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A much-loved rescue pony has died almost 20 years after being adopted by a Great Yarmouth horse sanctuary.

A beloved rescue pony called Oliver Twist has died after almost 20 years at Redwings' Horse Sanctuary. Picture: Redwings Horse SanctuaryA beloved rescue pony called Oliver Twist has died after almost 20 years at Redwings' Horse Sanctuary. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Oliver Twist had lived at Redwings’ visitor centre in Caldecott, near Great Yarmouth, since 1999 and was due to celebrate his 27th birthday this summer.

Oliver had a condition called a wry nose, which meant his face was slightly twisted, hence his name.

He was rescued from a horse sale in Nottingham in 1997 after a concerned individual contacted the charity. Oliver’s wry nose meant that he was unable to wear a bit and bridle and could therefore not be ridden, putting him at high risk of being sold for slaughter.

After being rescued, he was soon moved to the centre in Caldecott where he quickly garnered popularity with visitors.

Oliver when he first came to the sanctuary in 1997. Picture: Redwings Horse SanctuaryOliver when he first came to the sanctuary in 1997. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Oliver became an ‘adoption star’ and many supporters took the opportunity to sponsor him and help fund his care.

After 13 years of delighting visitors, Oliver was retired from the adoption scheme in 2014, leaving him to enjoy a well-earned break from the spotlight in his older years.

While still in reasonable health for his age, on Wednesday, March 21, Oliver suffered a very sudden and severe seizure; he was unable to recover and Redwings’ vets took the decision to put him to sleep.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “We are truly devastated to lose Oliver, who was such a characterful and lovable pony.

“Over almost 20 years, he won the hearts of thousands of our supporters – some would even travel long distances just to enjoy a cuddle with him at our Caldecott Visitor Centre – and we can’t thank them enough for the love they showed him.

“While we miss him terribly, we take comfort that we were able to give Oliver the safe and happy home he so deserved after narrowly escaping slaughter just because of his minor disability.

“In tribute, we have set up a memorial fund in Oliver’s name to help care for the next generation of horses who need the safety and support of Redwings, just like Oliver himself did once.”

For more information and to make a donation in Oliver’s name, call 01508 481000 or visit www.redwings.org.uk/donate

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