Two ponies given a second chance by a Blackpool animal welfare sanctuary have now trotted off to new ‘forever’ homes.
The plights of Tiggy and her foal Ralph are being highlighted by World Horse Rescue as part of its Rehome a Horse Month.
Tiggy came into World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre on Preston New Road after being abandoned with a group of other horses in late 2012.
The harsh winter was about to set in so they were removed to safety by the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare.
Tiggy was pregnant at the time and gave birth to a colt foal Ralph in March 2013.
Now both horses are flourishing in new homes.
Ralph was rehomed to Chorley-based Joanne Morgan who first heard about rehoming at a Penny Farm Open Day.
She said: “I was looking for a companion for my daughter’s pony and really loved the idea of taking on a youngster so we could continue their education and potentially ride in the future.
“I saw Tiggy in the field at Penny Farm and thought she was stunning without even realising that Ralph, who we had gone to visit, was her son!
“Ralph is such a loveable character and is so affectionate. When we’re mucking out his stable he will come and put his head on your shoulder to ask for attention! I would absolutely recommend rehoming to anyone.
“The process was so straightforward and there is a fantastic choice of horses and ponies who are all in need of loving homes.”
Rossendale-based Zara Lowton was looking for a new pony for her daughter Kaylee after outgrowing her first pony and decided to see what World Horse Welfare had available for rehoming.
She said: “When we saw Tiggy on the website it was love at first sight, she looked amazing on every photo and we just knew she was the right pony for us. Tiggy and Kaylee have built up an incredible partnership, competing at dressage, taking part in all Pony Club disciplines and recently enjoying their first ride on the beach together.”
This year sees Penny Farm celebrate 15 years helping abandoned horses.
Since it opened in June 2001 more than 700 horses and ponies have passed through its stable doors, many of which are now in loving new homes across the country.
Centre manager Fran Williamson said: “While we see such a huge range of welfare cases, one thing we are experiencing more and more often is groups of ponies who are left in large herds to breed indiscriminately.
“Unfortunately, this leaves owners with 10, 15, or 20-plus ponies they are unable to care for and welfare charities like World Horse Welfare must deal with the difficult consequences.”
Penny Farm will host a birthday party on Sunday June 5 to celebrate its anniversary with displays by some of the ponies, a children’s entertainer, live music and a fancy dress competition.
Horses and ponies spend an average of 10 months at the sanctuary undergoing rehabilitation before they are ready for rehoming.
Last year, Penny Farm rehomed 69 horses and ponies to new homes around the UK.
It has a team of eight grooms and each horse is assigned a dedicated groom who is responsible for their rehabilitation.
Nationally, World Horse Welfare rehomed with 320 horses and ponies last year.
People can find out more about rehoming at http://rehoming.worldhorsewelfare.org/