A young pony abandoned on the streets and desperately seeking companionship is the face of an international charity’s Christmas appeal.
Yearling cob Colin first came to the attention of World Horse Welfare earlier this year, when a caller rang its welfare line to report concerns for horses straying onto the roads in the Potton area in Bedfordshire.
Field Officer Chris Shaw found the 11.2hh youngster in poor condition and although enquiries were made, it was impossible to find an owner. He revisited again a few weeks later and Colin’s condition had deteriorated, plus he was wandering loose and had been causing problems on the busy roads.
Colin was so hungry that he had learnt the finishing times of the local school and would take himself down to wait at the gates each day in the hope of finding food.
“On my most recent visit, Colin was alone with no equine companion and appeared to have no-one to care for him, instead just left to his own devices,” Shaw said.
He’d also worked out where other horses were kept in the local area and would go to stand next to them “probably for companionship and more than likely to try and share their forage”, Shaw said.
“He was underweight and suffering from a lice infestation, his hooves were splitting, plus he wasn’t being kept in an enclosed space so was at real risk of injuring himself or causing an accident.”
World Horse Welfare worked with the local council to have Colin signed over to its care.
“When the lorry arrived to transport Colin to safety, it was like he knew exactly what was happening and practically trotted into the horsebox. Since being in the care of World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm he has thrived and made great friends with a number of other youngsters on the farm,” Shaw said.
“Colin was in such a sorry state when we found him so it’s really heartwarming to see him looking so healthy, happy and full of life now – living exactly as a young pony like him should be!”
Shaw said seeing horses transformed in the way that Colin has been is what makes his job worthwhile and keeps him going every day.
“There are so many horses just like Colin who need our help both at Christmas and all year round so I’d ask anyone who is able to spare a few pounds to donate to World Horse Welfare’s Christmas appeal and enable us to change the lives of even more horses and ponies.”