Redwings says a tearful goodbye to Rusty

Rusty, one of the first horses to be part of the Redwings Adoption Scheme when it was set up in 1984

Rusty, one of the first horses to be part of the Redwings Adoption Scheme when it was set up in 1984, has died at the age of 31. - Credit: Archant

One of the first ponies to be part of the adoption scheme at Norfolk charity Redwings has died at the age of 31.

Chesnut gelding Rusty was popular with visitors at the charity's Caldecott visitors centre and even after his retirement in 2011, continued to attract crowds in their hundreds.

Originally rescued from Watton horse sale in very poor condition, suffering with a severe worm burden, Rusty was one of the first to join the Redwings Adoption Scheme when it started in 1984.

Over the last few years, Rusty had developed age-related osteoarthritis and PPID - also known as Cushing's Disease - a condition caused by problems in pituitary gland, which can result in weight loss and other problems.

He recently began showing signs he was he was deteriorating, refused to eat and separated himself from other horses.

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The charity said its team of vets did 'all they could' for Rusty but had to make the difficult decision to put him down.

Redwings Chief Executive Lynn Cutress said: 'Although we know he had a long and happy life here at Redwings, we are still devastated to lose this incredibly special chap. He just had a way of capturing hearts. This year is the 30th anniversary of our formation as a charity and it's amazing that he has been with us all the way through. Monday was an incredibly sad day for us all but the sun was shining on his back and he had a peaceful end in the place that he loved.'

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Visit or call 01508 481000 for more information or to donate to Rusty's Memorial Fund.

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