It’s been a sad week for the staff and supporters of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary after losing one of our beloved Adoption ponies – the wonderful Dipsybell.
It was becoming clear the little17-year-old Shetland mare was finding it hard to walk.
Bouts of laminitis throughout her early years had left her foot sore and recently caused a great deal of pain. And so, with a heavy heart we decided it was kindest to put her gently to sleep.
Dipsybell – or Dipples as she was affectionately known – came to the Sanctuary in 2008 with her mum Annabel.
She quickly became a firm favourite with staff and supporters and it wasn’t long before Dipples was working as an ambassador for the charity, visiting schools, residential homes and county shows.
She was gentle and sweet natured, taking everything in her stride and she relished the attention.
It didn’t matter if you were two or 102 she was always pleased to see you and enjoyed getting out and about promoting the great work we do rescuing, rehabilitating and training unwanted ponies.
Before long her willing nature and friendliness made her an ideal Adoption Pony and horse lovers from all over the country have taken her to their hearts.
Coombe Park Yard Manager Gillian Gratton, who worked with Dipples for more than eight years, said: “She was always pleased to get a scratch over her stable door and when it came to promoting the Sanctuary she was ideal because it didn’t matter where you were taking her, as long as she got loads of attention.
“From helping people learn about horses and overcome their fears to cheering up the residents of an old people’s home, or being groomed by children in our Happy Hooves Club.
“She was gentle and patient and her tiny frame housed a massive personality. Dipples provided us with a huge amount of laughter and happy memories.
“She was loved by all who met her and a true favourite of many. We are all going to miss her so much.”
Anyone who had adopted Dipsybell will be contacted and offered a replacement certificate.
Our adorable little Dartmoor Hill Pony April will be taking over from Dipple’s as one of our five popular Adoption Ponies.
The 11hh, bay Dartmoor Hill Pony, has been with the Sanctuary for more than 20 years. She has been on loan as a child’s pony and has a really, sweet, friendly temperament. More on her soon.