Tabitha during the rescue operation at Spindles Farm in 2008. © RSPCA
The 12.2-hand pony was thin, wormy, dehydrated and hungry. She was found standing up to her fetlocks in faeces. Around her were many recently deceased companions. She was lucky to survive.
Now, an a dramatic change of fortune, Tabitha will head to The Pony Club Championships in Britain next week to take part in a charity challenge.
Tabitha, who is now being cared for by The Blue Cross, will join a team of ponies representing the charity in a mounted games competition against the Pony Club.
Little Tabitha and fellow Amersham rescue pony Fudge have recently been transferred from the RSPCA to The Blue Cross equine welfare centre at Burford, Oxfordshire, where they are undergoing training in preparation for being rehomed on the charity's long-term loan scheme.
Tabitha has blossomed into a beautiful riding pony and is a firm favourite with centre staff, especially those small enough to ride her.
"It's amazing to think how far Tabitha's come since that awful day when she was rescued from Spindles Farm," said Vicki Alford, Blue Cross equine manager at Burford.
"She's now happy and healthy, with perfect manners and an endearing cheeky streak. Going to The Pony Club Championships will be a great experience for her and we hope that soon after she'll be ready to find a loving new home."
Tabitha will join three other rescue ponies from The Blue Cross in a brand new charity challenge at the championships on August 17, competing against the creme de la creme of mounted games talent in a series of games.
The Blue Cross rescue pony team:
Reason he came to The Blue Cross: Behavioural problems
Character: Shadow is a cheeky chap who really enjoys his ridden work. He is forward going and enjoys going to competitions with staff. He has to be kept busy with varied work otherwise he can sometimes revert back to his naughty ways.
Reason he came to The Blue Cross: Owner no longer able to care for him
Character: Ginger came into the centre extremely overweight. He is now a much slimmer pony who really enjoys hacking alone or in company. He is laid back and likes to show off when ridden in the school.
Reason he came to The Blue Cross: From another welfare organisation
Character: Tommy is a fantastic cob. He is great fun to ride - especially when he gets a little full of beans whilst out hacking. We think he will really enjoy strutting his stuff in the mounted games competition.
Reason she came to The Blue Cross: RSPCA - Spindles Farm, Amersham
Character: Tabitha hasn't had the best start in life but you would never guess, she is very cheeky and always the first to whinny and come over from the field. Although the smallest of the four, we are sure Tabitha will definitely be one of the fastest.