Eriskay Pony Rescue Operation
Horses4Homes development Manager, Rebecca Evans visited farmers, Mr. and Mrs. Kimbell and their 4 young Eriskay ponies at their home in Northamptonshire, UK yesterday.
Mr. and Mrs. Kimbell are having to sell their farm which they have worked for the past 15 years, give up farming life, a life they have always known, re-home or put down all their animals and move into rented accommodation due to the recession. The farmers have been generously supported by volunteer Sarah Brown from the Farming Crisis Network in what has been and continues to be a very difficult time for them indeed. It was Sarah who got in touch with Rebecca through her position as Vice Chair of the National Equine Welfare Council. Sarah, from the Farming Crisis Network, an organisation providing pastoral and practical support to farmers in times of stress, anxiety and hardship, hopes to work with the National Equine Welfare Council and its 70 wide membership in the future.
Mrs Kimbell over the past few weeks has come to terms with the necessity to put to sleep those animals which are least likely to find secure, loving homes and has focused her energies on finding homes for those she believes could and should have a future. The homebred Eriskay ponies, just youngsters at 3 years old, Mrs Kimbell believed deserved a chance. “I would rather put any animal to sleep than take a risk with a person I did not trust who may use the animal for their own personal, financial gain or who may only be interested in the animal as a short term novelty and then neglect it.”
Mrs Kimbell was quite emotional at having to say goodbye to so many of her animals which have become such a big part of her life, she has had to take medication just so that she can get through the day. Rebecca was welcomed by Mrs Kimbell, “It has been a godsend to have found Rebecca Evans from Horses4Homes who has acted so swiftly, professionally and compassionately towards my situation and come to the aid of these critically rare Eriskay Ponies. I could have sent them to auction but I would not succumb them to such an uncertain future encased with risks, I would rather have had them put to sleep. I trust that Horses4Homes will care for my ponies and find them suitable long term homes by screening applicants that come forward, acquiring references and inspecting the new home to ensure it is suitable.”
Loc Ltd Transport have kindly offered to take the ponies to their temporary new home in the Cotswolds today as a favour to Horses4Homes. Over the next few weeks they will be assessed whilst Horses4Homes appeals for permanent, long term homes for the ponies. All potential homes will be inspected to ensure suitability before the ponies can be released and Rebecca will stay in touch with Mrs Kimbell and keep her updated on their progress.
If you live in the UK and would like to apply for any of these ponies please contact [email protected]