• Christine Keate

From rescue to show ring!

Rehomed Redwings horses celebrate success at the Royal Norfolk Show


Redwings Patchwork triumphed in the Ridden Rescue class and Redwings Edward came 2nd in the In-hand Rescue class at this year’s Royal Norfolk Show, the first held since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Joining Edward in the In-hand class were Redwings Matty who took 5th place, Redwings Stardust, 6th place, and Redwings Rocket, 7th place.

Patchwork, a 13.2hh, 13-year-old cob mare, was attending the show with her Guardians Yvette and Victoria. She was rescued by the charity in 2009, as one of 11 horses from a site in Rickmansworth. The horses had been abandoned and were straying onto the grounds of a local school. They were in poor condition, with suspected heavy worm burdens.


Patchwork when rescued

As the group had not received even the most basic care, they were all underweight and suffering from lice, which was treated on arrival at Redwings.


Patchwork’s blood tests also showed she had problems with both her intestines and liver.

Yvette said: “Patchwork, or Millie as she is known to us, has done us proud today. We don’t show regularly, and she spends most of the time as a happy hacker with my mum, but we love to bring her to the Norfolk Show to represent Redwings and show how great rehomed Redwings horses can be!”


Patchwork and Yvette today

The Rescue classes are judged on a combination of rescue story and transformation, and show on the day. For Redwings Edward it was his first ever show, after being rehomed in June 2020 to his Guardians Claire and Ann. The Cob gelding in the ring looked a different sight from the horse that came to Redwings in 2013, severely underweight and with blood tests revealing he was suffering with a high worm burden that had caused damage to his intestines, and with liver damage caused by ragwort toxicity.


Redwings Edward with Guardian Claire today


Edward before

Claire, reflecting on their class in the ring, said: “I am beyond proud of Edward. Before this he had never really left our yard before, and now here he is competing at county show level. He behaved impeccably in the ring and I could not be happier with him!”


Before their appearance in the Rescue class, Redwings Stardust and Redwings Rocket had a busy day as they werears of the Royal Norfolk Show Rescue Village, meeting members of the public and helping promote the Redwings rehoming scheme. Rocket, a 12.3hh Cob gelding, and Stardust, a 13hh Cob mare, will soon both be available to rehome as unbacked projects – looking for experienced Guardians to continue their training to be ridden horses.

Edward and Guardian Claire Rocket and Redwings team member Natalie, Stardust and Redwings team member Katie, and Matty and Guardian Sarah

Rachel Angell, Head of Norfolk Equine Operations, who heads up the charity’s rehoming scheme said: “What fabulous results for team Redwings at the Norfolk Show. To see our rescued horses doing so well, and their Guardians supporting Redwings by showing them at such a prestigious event, is wonderful! It is such a great opportunity to show what our ponies can do in their new homes and will hopefully inspire others to rehome a horse from Redwings.”


There are currently 500 horses living out in homes through the Redwings Guardianship scheme. Horses are rehomed on a long-term loan, with Redwings retaining ownership in case of any changes in their Guardian’s circumstances. Applications to rehome a horse are welcomed via the charity’s website www.redwings.org.uk/rehoming


As a charity 100% funded by donations, it is thanks to the generosity of supporters that Redwings is able to take in and care for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules who need us.



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