A pony sold at auction in “appalling” condition, has gone on to thrive in the care of charity Equine Market Watch (EMW) Sanctuaries UK.

Bay pony Conker was being sold via auction at Brecon in December 2021. The charity described him as “skin and bone”, and they believed he was blind in both eyes and a veteran, despite being sold as an 11-year-old riding pony, tacked up for the ring.

Conker when he was rescued

“He was the last lot of the day that cold December afternoon,” said EMW’s Elaine Tasker. “When we saw him in auction we knew immediately that he would have no future [without being saved], and we were determined that he would finish his days, however few those might be, in the calm of sanctuary.

EMW won the bid on Conker, and with help the charity’s supporters he came home to the sanctuary that night. As with all the charity’s intakes, the gelding had to go into isolation and was seen by a vet. Trustee Ann named him Conker as despite his condition, his bay coat was like a shiny conker.

Conker was in a poor state

He spent the first weeks in a field alongside his fellow sanctuary residents, so he could see the herd but not able to touch them to prevent the spread of any diseases he may have been carrying. The charity’s vets determined he was in his twenties and blind in his nearside eye, with next to no vision in his off side eye.

Staff started off by giving him five small feeds daily, then gradually reducing that down to two. He was well-rugged, out during his first winter with EMW during daylight hours, but in at night with plenty of hay. He also had dental work  and all vaccinations.

Conker has flourished

“He shocked us all,” said Elaine. “We first expected that he wouldn’t make it through the first few weeks, so poor was his condition, but he flourished. Within a few months we could see the stunning pony he was and he continued without stopping. Today he is a bit too fat!

“He is beautiful, he must have been amazing in his sighted days under saddle. Today he lives with his friends, 31-year-old Exmoor Willow and nine-year-old Shetland Eric. Conker loves his friends and is never far from either one. He will never leave sanctuary to go to a new home, this is his home.”

Conker enjoys playing with his friends

Equine Market Watch (EMW) Sanctuaries UK is a National Equine Welfare Council-accredited sanctuary which has been taking on equines since the late 1990s. To find out more, click here.

Lead image of Conker today

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