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A dozen lucky rescue ponies find new homes at Equifest


At their first visit to a horse show since being saved, 12 ponies we rescued were adopted by visitors at Equifest this past weekend. 

Girl cuddles her adopted pony at Equifest © RSPCA

Visitors and competitors at the famous Peterborough horse event flocked to our stand to learn about the work we do and meet the rescue horses. Some people were so taken with the ponies, they reserved them on the spot! 

Six-year-old Amelia James fell in love with rescue pony Billy after visiting the show with her parents, Paul and Lesley, who had come to compete their own horse. The family adopted Billy, taking him home to Ayrshire with them after the show.

12 of 16 ponies rehomed

Across the four-day event held at the East of England showground, our team met thousands of visitors and competitors, talking about their on-going work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming some of the country’s most neglected and suffering ponies.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde, who heads up our equine team said:

Stabled at the event were 16 of those ponies who have blossomed in our care, and were ready to find their new homes - so we are delighted that 12 were reserved. Some, like Billy, even went home with their new owners on the last day of the show.

Equifest champions

It was our sixth year at Equifest and as always, the special RSPCA and PRP Rescue Services Rescue Horse/Pony of the Year competition was a roaring success, with many familiar faces of ponies we have rehomed in the past and their adopters coming back to strut their stuff in the arena.


  • We are delighted that Buggy, a little pony rehabilitated by World Horse Welfare, was crowned the winner this year.
  • Delamere Kaleidoscope ‘Doris’, who was rescued by Equine Emergency Services in 2012, was named reserve champion.

The competition is always packed with entries of transformational stories including rescue horses from all charities and equine rescue organisations, and those who have rescued a horse or pony themselves.

Six in-hand and ridden classes took place before the grand finale in the show’s Saturday night evening performance, which was an exciting and emotional display for the audience.

Prizes and contributions of our sponsors and supporters

Cathy added:

The classes couldn’t go ahead without the support of PRP Horsebox Rescue, our main class sponsor, and Classic Collection Jewelry who have generously provided us with some wonderful prizes for Buggy, Doris and the other winners.

Equine photographer Christian Schwerz who was exhibiting his work made a very generous offer and donated a complimentary photo shoot to the winning horse.

Our sixteen rescue ponies bedded down every night in their temporary stables on comfy Nedz bedding, very kindly donated by Director of Nedz, Lisa Cooper-Tomlinson and her daughter Anya Cooper.

Both Lisa and Anya were invited to select the ‘Best Conditioned’ horse of the show, choosing rescue horse Blue, owned by Jess Davies as their winner.

I would also like to thank Graham Rouse and the RSPCA Cambridge Mid East Branch who provided our ponies with the most beautiful blue headcollars and day rugs for the show.

If you missed Equifest but would like to find out more about rehoming a horse or pony from us, please visit our rehome a horse page to see the horses currently available for adoption.

Sponsor our horse stables

More horses than ever need our help. As the biggest provider of equine care, we want to make sure all horses in our centres are given the treatment and care they need. Could you sponsor our horse stables?

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