A Shetland pony who delivers cupcakes to holidaymakers has defied the odds by reaching what’s believed to be his 50th birthday.
While Bamboo doesn’t have an official birth certificate, his owner and vets believe he’s 50, making him potentially the oldest pony in the UK and the equivalent of 135 in human years.
The veteran pony receives regular check-ups and treatment from Uplands Way Vets’ equine team in Bressingham, Norfolk, and vet Sole Guiñon says it is rare for a horse or pony to reach their half century.
“Bamboo really is incredible. The average lifespan for a horse is 20 to 30 years, so for Bamboo to reach such a grand age is testament to how well his owner cares for him,” said Sole. “They always give the practice a call if they’re worried about him, so we can give them the right advice.
“Like many older horses, Bamboo’s teeth are showing signs of wear and tear, and we regularly visit to carry out dental work to keep his mouth comfortable. Last year, he suffered an allergic reaction which caused him to lose some of the hair over his face, but luckily this was resolved with the correct treatment and lots of TLC.”
Golden Oldies Awareness Month
To shine the spotlight on older horses and ponies like Bamboo, and help their owners best care for them, Uplands Way Vets, a VetPartners practice, is holding an Equine Golden Oldies Awareness Month during September.
Bamboo’s owner Holly Banns, who runs Back on Track Retirement Livery with her husband Tom, is supporting the awareness month and says veteran horses have so much to offer.
The Banns took in Bamboo nine years ago when his elderly owner passed away.
“Bamboo is such a lovely pony to own and everyone adores him,” said Holly. “It’s amazing that he’s reached his half century and he just keeps on going and going.
“Even at the grand old age of 50 he enjoys being decorated with flowers and going on a leisurely walk to deliver cupcakes to guests at our glamping site.
“We do all we can to keep him happy and healthy. He has had a few health issues over the years but luckily these have been treated successfully.”
Read the practice’s 10 tips for keeping a veteran horse or pony healthy for longer.