An operation to rescue a group of ponies from Bodmin Moor involving vets, farmers and council members has been described by a charity as an “amazing team effort”.

The rescued ponies have been named after characters from Poldark. Image © Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

The successful operation, for which Redwings Horse Sanctuary offered financial support, resulted in the safe rescue of three ponies from the Moor including a tiny foal.

They have since been named after characters from the series Poldark.

A stallion, a mare and her foal were rescued over the weekend from the very spot where parts of the hit BBC series was filmed. They had been running loose on the Moor and were starving, in urgent need of veterinary intervention, feed and proper care. No owner has come forward.

The stallion, named Ross Poldark by his rescuers, was found in the Craddock Moor area in a dire state, very thin and weak, with a body condition score of 0.5. Lorna Stevenson, the APHA veterinary officer who authorised the ponies’ removal, stated she believed he would almost certainly die without immediate help.

Meanwhile a mare found in the Pensilva area and since named Demelza after the wife of Poldark, was also in serious danger, with a body condition score of just 1. She has a foal at foot who is thought to be between 7-10 days old. The baby has been named Julia after Demelza’s new baby daughter in the series and the ponies have been moved to a nearby yard where they are receiving urgent care.

Julie Downton, secretary to the Bodmin Moor commoners, the association of Bodmin Moor commons landowners and lead for welfare issues, said: “Just like Poldark, our pony Ross bears the scars of battle. He also has lustrous brown locks, and although he is very thin at the moment we hope he will one day have rippling muscles too. Demelza in the series is a scrawny little thing who is totally unloved until help comes along, what else could we call her? It’s amazing to think these ponies have walked in the very footsteps of their namesakes.

“It was an extremely tough few days but we are so pleased that this story has a happy ending. Big thanks to Lorna Stevenson VO for all her hard work, to the Pooley family who have offered to house the ponies and to Redwings for their financial support to help us get these ponies away from danger.”

Redwings head of welfare and behaviour Nic de Brauwere said: “Lorna and Julie in particular have been absolutely astonishing. They respond to every welfare concern reported to them on the Moor but often they will arrive to find the ponies have been moved or there are various factors such as the poor weather or intervention by locals which means they are unable to catch them. In this case yet again they worked tirelessly all weekend to ensure the safe removal of these ponies, who have now been moved to a place of safety where they will receive all the care they need and deserve. We must also thank those who have offered them safe housing and the demanding aftercare that they desperately need, thank you for all you do.”

Redwings has recently been involved in a current DEFRA consultation on the establishment of a Bodmin Moor Commons Council, the results of which will be released in a few weeks.

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