A horse rescued from neglect at the age of 30 has just celebrated her 40th birthday in Britain.
Companion pony Gatewood Ella was taken into the care of World Horse Welfare in 2008 following concerns for a group of horses near Southampton. Ella was underweight, covered in lice and generally in poor condition when she arrived.
Sara, a yard supervisor at World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm, remembers the day Ella arrived: “Ella was in quite a sorry state when she came to us. As well as being thin and covered in lice, her teeth were really overgrown which was causing her considerable problems when she tried to eat.
“She was quite old even back then but it’s amazing how after a few months she was back in good physical condition and was starting to show her real lust for life.”
After spending some time on loan to continue her rehabilitation, she was rehomed in 2010. After spending the first couple of years in her new home going to local shows to take part in the in-hand veteran classes – where she was by far the oldest competitor – Ella is now enjoying her twilight years as a companion.
“She still has moments of cantering around the field with her tail in the air like a two-year-old!”
Her rehomer Jo said Ella is happy to relax in the field with her two companions. “She’s very nosey and likes to ‘help’ with the gardening and feeding the goats and chickens! She doesn’t miss a trick and is the cheekiest pony I know!”
Sadly, Ella lost her best friend Flick a couple of years ago which caused a spell of grief and adjustment. Thankfully, she came through the other side and with the company of two new companions is back to her old self again.
“Ella is just amazing and doesn’t look or act her age at all. She still has moments of cantering around the field with her tail in the air like a two-year-old! She makes everyone smile – I really wouldn’t be without her and she has a home with me for life,” Jo said.