Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary CHRISTMAS 2014

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1 1 Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary CHRISTMAS 2014 Dear Supporters, We had a terrible start to On the morning of New Years Day we lost Heathcliff. Suddenly and without warning his heart gave out. He was a loveable, mischievous Shetland who arrived at the sanctuary in Sylvia had rescued him from the meat trade. With him came his brother Boris and friends Freddie and Fudge. He had been diagnosed with a heart murmur many years ago, it never seemed to worry him especially when chased by the farrier and rugby tackled to have his hooves trimmed. His cheeky antics will be greatly missed.

2 2 When rescuing old, neglected, ill or injured animals it has to be expected that there will be losses has been a particularly bad year. We lost six dear friends to old age and illness. This is of course very distressing for the people that look after the animals. We will never forget Heathcliff and Boris, two very naughty Shetlands, Captain, Cider, Humphrey and especially dear old Lucky who slipped away through old age. He was a wonderful pony, you can read his story on our website. We remember them all through incidents and stories: Boris accidently nipped Lola (Sian s little girl) on her third birthday whilst giving him a carrot. Humphrey being walked out on a lead reign for the first time and really trusting the humans around him after all he had been through. Captain looking magnificent and incredibly huge, next to his best friend Herbie the Shetland pony. Lucky stepping in to act as a guide for our blind pony Robin when his partner Rosie passed away. Cider, brave and tough after seriously injuring himself. Everyone an individual with their own personalities. These things help us to keep their memories alive so they are never forgotten.

3 3 Captain a magnificent retired hunter. The early part of this year had been horribly wet and our fields were water logged and heavy with deep mud. Sian and her wonderful band of volunteers slogged on and made sure that all the ponies were dry and well fed. Cider Because the ground was so soggy the fencing began to give way, everyone became adept at making repairs. It was too wet to bring in vehicles so everything was done by hand. We had a series of dramatic thunderstorms; our telegraph pole was hit by lightening twice and knocked out our telephones and Internet for weeks so apologies to everyone who tried to contact us in those weeks. In conjunction with the National Equine Council we have developed a special relationship with the horse wardens in Cardiff who have a terrible problem with fly grazing. Countless ponies, cobs and horses are abandoned each year. Despite the best efforts of the horse wardens and the NEWC most are destroyed, very sad but sometimes for the best.

4 4 This little chap was left for dead; fortunately he was saved and through the NEWC was found a good home. Tragically this is not always the case. Alison s heart went out to one tragic case, she agreed to take a foal: he had been found apparently dead at the side of a busy main road. As the horse warden was arranging for the body to be removed she realized that he was still alive although barely. A vet was called and eventually he was taken into care. He was in a terrible state, malnourished and suffering from awful worm damage to his insides. Sian and her faithful team worked tirelessly to bring him back to health and for a few precious weeks he knew what it was to be warm, well fed and loved. It was wonderful to see him fill out and his eyes become bright and no longer dull and lackluster.

5 5 His trust in the people around him was absolute, despite the terrible things that had been done to him by human kind. In late March he suddenly went down in his stable, tests were carried out and it was found that there was a hole in his stomach wall caused by parasite damage. Just for a few pounds he could have been given wormers by whoever had abandoned him and none of this would have happened. To try and save him he was bottle fed with special high nutritional feeds, drugs, herbal and other alternative remedies were tried. Countless people followed his story on social media. Sadly the neglect had taken too much of a toll and he passed away. Everyone was devastated. His story has been taken up by the National Equine Welfare Council and is used to highlight the problems faced by many neglected equines. As one door closes another opens. During this year we have been able to give homes to new ponies desperately in need of somewhere to go. The sanctuary is mainly there to look after the current residents and act as a safety net for the dozens of equines that are on permanent loan and that on rare occasions need to come back to us. Bonnie a fantastic little pony saved from the meat trade and has been out on loan with a loving family for some years.

6 6 Through no fault of their own they were no longer able to look after her and she came back to the Sanctuary. Following rigorous checks, loan homes have to sign a contract to the effect that all animals must be returned to the Sanctuary if no longer wanted. They are guaranteed a home for life. Giselle a thirty nine year old pony has been out on loan for over ten years with a very kind lady. Her circumstances had changed and of course Giselle was welcomed back. She is a grand old lady and soon had all the naughty Shetlands in order. She has quite a few visitors including children who were taught to ride on her. Her old owner also comes to see her, armed with packets of polo s of course. Giselle is pictured with our latest rescue, Snoopy

7 7 Alison was contacted by the Cardiff horse warden with an emergency case. A little cob foal of no more than three months was found abandoned in Cardiff City Center in the early hours of the morning. He was far too young to be away from his Mum and very distressed. Of course we took him on and the staff named him Snoopy. On his arrival we were told that he was completely wild and distrustful of humans and that it would be very unlikely he could ever be tamed. In the intervening months, with a huge amount of love and care the team have him literally eating out of their hands. He is wonderful character and full of fun and learns something new every day. Sometimes Giselle keeps him in check when he gets too exuberant. Snoopy as he is now full of fun and mischief. It is heart - warming to see his progress and again this can be followed on face book and our web site.

8 8 Each milestone in Snoopy s short life is greeted with comments from the many people that are following him on social media. One high light is a short video of his first time out in the big field he was so excited charging up and down calling out to the other ponies and really showing off. When agreeing to take Snoopy on, Alison also agreed that two very cheeky Shetlands. Peaches and Victor could also be given a forever home. They had been abandoned in a terrible yard with only the water from a broken rain gutter to drink and a few weeds for food. They were badly malnourished and full of worm. Of course the owner was never traced or prosecuted. For once there is a happy ending all three rescues are now safe and secure in a loving home. This is Luna the farm cat who needed a very specific sort of home. She doesn t like to live indoors and is a prolific hunter of rodents. She is very friendly and has a new home in the sanctuary barn. Since her arrival our mouse population has decreased significantly. We had a fantastic summer and although it was hot and dry there was plenty of grass for most of the year. Hay is plentiful

9 9 and we have made sure that we have secured enough to see us through the winter. We have some new and very dedicated volunteers. Brian and Julie Hooper have become indispensable. Their love for the ponies keeps them going through the most terrible of weather. Not only do they help with the care of the animals but Brian has built a new hay store, they have repaired and put up fencing, fixed and maintained anything that broken and given Sian some much needed support. Sian and Lola visited the sanctuary in France this year and met up with all the old favorites and some new additions. Sian was very pleased to see how well they all were and amazed at the number of visitors that come to see them. Sian s little girl Lola, with Robin. She has an affinity with the animals and they are very careful around her. She often to be found helping muck out with her special little fork and shovel. In August all the volunteers arranged a BBQ fencing day, which was a great success. Thanks to every ones efforts we are now replacing all of the old wire with lovely new post and rail.

10 10 Horses In France All the horses that moved out to France are thriving; some of the really old boys like Walter and Northavon seem to be getting younger. If you would like to catch up with their progress please visit our website During the summer the Metropolitan Police carried out their yearly inspection of the premises at La Grange to ensure their retired horses were being looked after. Of course we were given a five star review. Trustees from DHAPS also came out on an inspection visit and were more than satisfied with the work we carry out there and the way the DHAPS horses are looked after. The horses enjoy all of the attention given to them by the many visitors that come to see them, it no doubt reminds them of being surrounded by adoring public in the old days and helps them to forget the more traumatic events of where people only meant them harm. Funds raised from the visits also help greatly to meet the costs of keeping these wonderful animals, who have given so much.

11 11 As we look back on 2014, despite the animals that have passed away, we can say that they were given a happy place to live and we are still building on the work that my parents began so many years ago. We should be proud of our achievements. Without the work of Sian, Anne, Karen, Brian, Julie, the trustees and everyone that helps and supports us, all of the animals in our care would be facing an uncertain 2015.

12 12 It only remains for me to wish on behalf everyone at DHAPS, all our supporters a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Roland, Alison and Everyone at The Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary DEVON HORSE & PONY SANCTUARY THE OLD BARN, SOUTHCOTT, MANATON, DEVON TQ13 9UW Tel: Web:

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