Deeside trek with ponies

A pony rescued from neglect will lead a sponsored pony walk next weekend to highlight the importance of physical exercise to keep ponies healthy.

All ponies with big appetites (and their owners) are invited to take part on Saturday, August 4 from 12 noon when ponies will be led in hand to the ‘Shooting Greens’ near Finzean, with a stop for a picnic lunch half way around.

The sponsored walk is being organised by Haggis’ rehomer Chloe McCutcheon in aid of World Horse Welfare, whose staff rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed Haggis with her last year.

She said: “The walk will be hard work as it’s uphill some of the way, but it will all be worth it as we will be able to see the picturesque River Dee and the forest pines.”

Chloe is keen to use the sponsored walk to highlight the importance of weight management especially in ponies like Haggis who are at a higher risk of developing the debilitating foot condition laminitis.

“Like all Shetland ponies, Haggis does like his food and for that reason he has to move more especially as Shetlands are a high risk category for laminitis. So I decided we are going to ‘move more’ to raise funds for World Horse Welfare and hopefully encourage other ponies to join us and burn some calories.”

In July 2010 the seven year-old miniature Shetland was rescued by World Horse Welfare after being discovered with two other ponies on 60 acres of grazing in Aberdeenshire. He was overweight and lame with ‘some of the worst feet World Horse Welfare had ever seen’, described as ‘so long they were like rockers’ preventing him from standing still. Last month the owner was banned for life from keeping horses.

Haggis was taken to Belwade Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Aboyne where he was brought back to health, rehabilitated and then rehomed with Chloe.

To sponsor Haggis or join him for the walk, contact Chloe McCutcheon at chloe_nobother@ or at 07798 898400 for more details.