Norfolk charity looking for a new home for ex-racehorse Alfie

Emma Sawyer, specialist groom for the retraining of thoroughbreds at the World Horse Welfare at Snet

Emma Sawyer, specialist groom for the retraining of thoroughbreds at the World Horse Welfare at Snetterton, with Alfie, a five-year-old former racehorse, with the racing name Application, who is looking for a new home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Alfie is a cheeky chestnut Thoroughbred gelding ex-racehorse and he is looking for a new home. After taking to the racetrack a handful of times, the playful character is now off the track and has been looked after by specialist groom, Emma Sawyers at the World Horse Welfare stables in Snetterton for the last year.

Ready to spend his adolescence with a new family, the four-year-old 'loves to play and spend time with other horses'.

The international charity provides education and training to horses that are neglected or where owners are no longer able to look after them..

Aiming to reduce their suffering and better their lives by helping them recover from physical and mental traumas, the organisation has been making a difference for more than 85 years. Around a year ago the charity collaborated with a pilot scheme called Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) and since then five horses arrived in their Snetterton stables including Alfie the 15.2hh youngster who is now ready to step out into the big wide world. A spokesperson from World Horse Welfare, said: 'He raced a couple of times and was re-homed by a lady in Scotland, but she had limited horse knowledge and realised she couldn't care for him anymore, so he came to us.

'He's still a very babyish in character, he likes to play and have fun with other horses. He's also quite immature, not just mentally but physically too. He's a lovely horse.'

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For the next year the chestnut Thoroughbred gelding will need close care and attention from his new companion so he can strengthen his muscles and grow.

'He might not be able to be ridden, he will need to be reassessed in 12 months because at the moment his muscles aren't strong enough. You have got to be strong to hold someone on your back, but with his physiotherapy he could be, you never know.'

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Although he's taking a break at the moment, Alfie is usually doing lots of stretches to strengthen his muscles, pole work to encourage him to pick his feet up when he's trotting and long lining, where he explores the farm on long reigns.

'It's really important the horses get out and see some of the world, they need to get used to tractors, the sounds of lawn mowers and look of umbrellas.'

The charity retains ownership of their horses, so if a family becomes unable to cope with the responsibility of owning one, the ponies can return and be re-homed once again.

With some of Alfie's friends also on the re-homing list, the charity is hoping Freddie, Bob and Obi will all find a warm stable to rest their heads.

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