George and Gilbert – saved in the nick of time

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George and Gilbert – saved in the nick of time


We promised to tell everyone the story of our new young colts George and Gilbert, who were just two hours from being euthanised when they were rescued at the eleventh hour.

These adorable youngsters, who have been affectionately nicknamed the coblets by staff, were found callously abandoned in a farmer’s field in Somerset.


Desperate phone calls were made to find them a temporary shelter but time was running out. Terrified and unhandled, they were callously discarded and living under a death sentence.

Until Nina Harris, who has a local smallholding, heard the news.

mare-foal-sanctuary-george-gilbert-devon-rescue-somerset-nina-harrisNina Harris with George and Gilbert

She said: “We were really up against the wire and I was exhausted by the time they arrived. It was a real rollercoaster. There was literally no one able to take them in locally and they were really frightened.

“I was able to offer shelter temporarily but I was full myself! We just couldn’t let these gorgeous youngsters die. Their lives had only just started.”

She contacted our Equine Team and George and Gilbert were offered quarantine stables as soon as they became free at our Beech Trees Welfare and Veterinary Clinic.

Quarantine for two weeks is vital to stop the spread of highly contagious diseases like Strangles amongst the charity’s other herds.

Nina said: “It was a huge relief for all of us. They are such lovely characters and they really deserved a chance. During their time with us we came to realise George and Gilbert were really special.”

The young colts are now the best of friends and are out of quarantine, enjoying life and settling into a routine.

Head of Equine, Sally Burton, said: “Very often abandoned ponies need shelter quickly and local sanctuaries can be full. George and Gilbert were really lucky that we had quarantine stables become available.

“Both ponies are now doing really well and are relaxing into their new lives. They are the lucky ones and can look forward to a bright future.”

mare-foal-sanctuary-george-gilbert-devon-rescue-somerset-charley-dainesGilbert with groom Charlie Daines

The colts will be looked after by the Sanctuary’s Horse Care Team, with a groom allotted to each pony, to get them used to being handled – and to trust again.

mare-foal-sanctuary-george-gilbert-devon-rescue-somerset-terri-saundersGeorge with Terri Saunders

And it’s hoped they will one day go on to find loving new homes.