Two years on from the hit ITV programme, Give a Pet a Home, the RSPCA has revealed how rescue horse Kastone, who was rehomed thanks to the programme, is thriving with his loving adopter.
Kastone famously featured on the programme ‘snoring’ and quickly became a favourite of the programme's presenter, sporting legend, Chris Kamara.
With Chris Kamara by his side, telling viewers about the thoroughbred horse’s difficult past and how he suffered severe neglect and starvation before being rescued by the RSPCA, Kastone sparked interest from many people wanting to offer the stunning chestnut gelding a home, but it was Bethan-May Williams from Oxfordshire who was the lucky one to adopt him.
Kastone is now unrecognisable from his frail and traumatic beginnings and Bethan is competing with him and even plans to start show jumping with him.
“I had always wanted to rehome a rescue horse, and after meeting the RSPCA team at an event and finding out about the wide range of different horses they have rescued, that’s when I knew I was going to offer one a home," said Bethan. "Thank goodness I did - Kastone has turned out to be a fantastic horse and he will be with me forever.”
Chris Kamara is also delighted to see Kastone doing brilliantly in his new home with Bethan. "He went through so much in his former life, but his transformation is really amazing, and I'm really proud I could be involved in helping him find the home he deserves," he said.
"I really hope more people will see his story and will consider giving a home to an RSPCA rescue horse."
A long road to recovery
By the time he featured on the TV show looking for his new home, Kastone had been through many months of rehabilitation work with the specialist equine team at RSPCA Gonsal Farm equestrian centre in Shrewsbury following his rescue in September 2013 when he was found emaciated and suffering (pictured below.).
Having already heard about Kastone in December 2014 after meeting the RSPCA equine team at Your Horse Live, Bethan had her heart set on rehoming him, but a nasty fall from her previous horse left her with an unexpected broken ankle, and she was made the tough decision not to pursue rehoming Kastone.
However, four months later Bethan was amazed to hear Kastone was still looking for a home and couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw him on ITV’s Give A Pet A Home, hosted by celebrities Amanda Holden, Peter Andre, Coleen Nolan, Julian Clary, Denise Lewis, Kimberly Wyatt and Chris Kamara. Their aim was to find forever homes for all the animals featured, a stroke of luck for Bethan!
“It was very tense for me seeing Kastone feature on the programme, as he was looking so beautiful and the hilarious snoring he was doing with Chris Kamara showed his quirky character, I felt so sure I wouldn’t stand a chance of being picked to rehome him. I did shed a few tears waiting to hear back because I wanted him so much! It was a massive relief when I was picked to go and meet him, and I couldn’t get to RSPCA Gonsal Farm quick enough to reserve him!”
Kastone was rescued by the RSPCA when he was just two years old. He was found on a farm in south Wales, hidden away in a dingy barn. Poor Kastone was emaciated and covered in sores and bites that had not been treated.
RSPCA equine rehoming officer Gareth Johnson said: “When our inspectors found Kastone he was in a very sorry state. Still just a baby at two years old, his life should have been so much more than what it was. He was shut away, his ribs were clearly visible and he was really quiet. Thankfully, the police seized Kastone and another pony, and placed them into our care. We were able to rehabilitate them both before looking to rehome them, so I was absolutely delighted when Kastone was picked to appear on the TV programme. To see pictures of him now living such a wonderful life with Bethan brings a tear to my eye. Seeing horses that we’ve rescued go to the loving homes they deserve is what keeps us going in what can be a very tough job.”
Bethan, who works for a farrier supply company, keeps Kastone at a yard she privately rents for him and her other horses - showjumper Dave, Shetland pony Honey, retired show jumper Dude and youngster Florie. Now five years old, Kastone stands at a whopping 16.2hh.
“When I first rehomed Kastone he was about a quarter of the size he is now! He was unbacked and a bit of a handful but he soon settled and now he’s a very happy, confident horse who will do anything for me. We’ve done a bit of everything so far and he’s been really good at anything I’ve put in front of him, I’m very lucky to have him - and he still snores! He is a fantastic example of how much potential rescue horses have, if only people will give them a chance and offer them a home. I’d recommend to anyone who is looking for a horse to try the RSPCA, you’ll be surprised at the amazing horses they have.”
The pair competed in their first unaffiliated one day event together recently, finishing top in the dressage with 77% in their test and scooping second place overall. Bethan plans to start affiliated show jumping over the winter with Kastone, after making the most of some lovely beach rides this year
To find out more about how you can rehome a horse from the RSPCA please visit www.rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses