A herd of forty Welsh mountain ponies has been taken in by rescue charities after the sudden death of their owner.

World Horse Welfare was contacted about the ponies at the end of last year, and it became clear the owner’s family was unable to take on their care. Despite this, the family was concerned for the ponies’ welfare, so signed them over into the charity’s care.

Through NEWC (National Equine Welfare Council), World Horse Welfare liaised with other animal welfare charities to arrange suitable accommodation for the ponies.

In December, World Horse Welfare and HAPPA worked together to round up the ponies from the farm in North Wales and, after a vet had checked that they were fit to travel, their journeys began.

World Horse Welfare was able to take in 14, which were moved to the charity’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre near Blackpool. HAPPA took in six ponies, and Bransby Horses and the Blue Cross took the remaining herd members, bar one pony was rehomed directly to a friend of the family.

“Cases involving large numbers of horses or ponies are unfortunately frequent, and always pose a logistical problem to find spaces to take them all in at one time,” said Rae Andrews, Field Officer from World Horse Welfare.

“The fact that we were able to find places for them is testament to the way all the different organisations involved through NEWC work together. This case also highlights the importance of considering that difficult thing: what will happen when we are no longer there? – and making plans for the provision of your animals once you are gone.”

Tracy Heaton, Equine Inspector from HAPPA, said team work was key in this operation.

“It is always a pleasure working alongside my World Horse Welfare colleagues supporting them offering our resources and enabling such great teamwork,” she said. “Especially in today’s difficult equine welfare climate, working in collaboration is key to getting the job done.

“The task involved in the round up of large groups can be extremely challenging and is reliant on a knowledgeable, proficient team working in harmony with each other; likewise, HAPPA equally works with World Horse Welfare calling on their resources to assist us on equine operations where necessary.

“The ponies have really settled into HAPPA’s Rescue Centre, Shores Hey Farm, where they will continue on a rehabilitation journey, learning to interact and socialise under the guidance of our equine team”.

All the ponies have been given health checks. The 14 at World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm are becoming used to being handled and can be seen by visitors to the centre. It is believed that some of the mares are pregnant, so the team at Penny Farm is expecting some more pint-sized ponies to be born in the coming months.

The aim for each pony at World Horse Welfare is that when they are fit and ready they will be able to be rehomed.

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