Tributes have been paid to Redwings’ oldest resident, Willow, who has passed away aged 46. Staff described the beloved pony as “truly one of a kind”, and her grand age earned her widespread attention.

The Welsh pony came to the charity in 2003 following a successful RSPCA prosecution. She  had been living on the Welsh commons, where she had received little or no handling from humans. Over the years she became a friendly and was a favourite of all those who met her.

Sadly, last month Willow experienced a sudden and severe colic and, though the charity’s expert teams did everything possible for her, staff had to let her go to prevent her from suffering.

Willow – who lived at Redwings’ headquarters in Norfolk – recently celebrated her birthday, enjoying a special cake with her horse friends and receiving countless messages from supporters. BBC Radio Norfolk’s listeners put together a special birthday playlist for the much-loved pony. Her remarkable age even saw Redwings contacted by Guinness World Records.

“While Willow’s grand age was rare, the specialist care we were able to provide her – thanks to our supporters – played a massive role in her enjoying such a long and healthy life, and I’m so proud to have been a part of that,” said Redwings vet Dawn Trayhorn.

“She was so loved by so many, and I feel for everyone who is grieving at this news. I’ve never known so many people come to say goodbye to a pony.

“It was the first time since we lost foal Phoenix in 2021 that a rainbow could be seen over our Horse Hospital.

“Willow was our most golden of golden oldies and truly one of a kind. We won’t forget her.”

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