We received a call from a lady, who needed our help with a newborn foal. He had been taken to her after being found up on the hillside, by local people out walking. They had found him just laying there on his own, very cold and wet from the rain and they stayed around, watching to see if his mother came back to him. Sadly after a long wait they began to worry about the new born foal who was getting very cold out there on the hills. They took him to a lady living very close by, who was well known in the area for her own beautiful ponies grazing on the hillside. And at this point, the lady who now had the newborn foal in her house rang us to see if we could provide something the foal needed very urgently, which is colostrum ! We drove to the lady’s house and met the beautiful colt for the first time. We decided to name him Tom after he shared a birthday with the famous Sir Captain Tom, the great Hero of the day, albeit 100 years apart! As soon as we arrived at the lady’s house we gave him colostrum ,in a Powdered form ,which we always keep in stock. It was getting dark, so we quickly went to the place where he had been found, and sadly there was no sign of his mum that night. A proper search was carried out the next day, and sadly his mother still could not be found. We could only believe that Tom’s mum was a maiden mare (first foal) and had for whatever reason, become separated from her newborn foal. We brought Tom back to the sanctuary, taking him up to the house and wrapping him up, giving him warm foals milk every few hours. Sadly after 24 hours he started to have seizures. After our own Vet was called out several times, she decided that Tom needed a plasma transfusion (blood transfusion). This blood was donated by foal loving “Middy” who also lives at the Sanctuary. The transfusion enabled Tom to receive the vital antibodies needed for his little body to filter the toxins that were causing the seizures. Miraculously Tom’s seizures stopped within 24 hours! As you can see, our strapping young Tom is now on top form! Tom was hand reared by all of the Woodfield Team, giving him his warm milk every few hours for the first few weeks, throughout the night as well. But Tom was lonely, he had no friends to play with and without a real mum, he became very attached to us. So we were delighted to take in two foals of a similar age! They became good friends and can be seen out playing “tag “ in the fields most days . They have nice warm coats on to keep out the cold, several feeds a day of foal Creep, and now they are on proper feed, with lots of vitamins, and minerals to help them grow up into strong ponies and like all the ponies at the sanctuary, as much Haylage as they like! Our visitors enjoy seeing Tom out playing with his friends in the field. He is a very big character, and can be cheeky, as so many hand reared foals are!
Lolly was found on the 16th April 2020 on Clyne Common laying down next to her foal who had passed away during his traumatic birth. The poor Mare was very badly torn from giving birth to such a large foal and was totally exhausted, unable even to stand up. Lolly was only a young pony herself and was terribly emaciated. There was no way she could be left there on the common. Woodfield Animal Sanctuary were given permission to remove Lolly from Clyne Common by the Commoners Association. When she arrived at the Sanctuary she was treated with antibiotics and painkillers but we were warned by our vet that she may indeed not make it. If she survived the night she was still too weak to undergo surgery for the injuries she had sustained during foaling. Staff at the Sanctuary stayed with her round the clock and also had backup watching her on the camera. It was a huge team effort. We all willed her to pull through. Poor Lolly was only two years old! It was touch and go for many weeks. Due to the severity of Lolly’s injuries we had to have daily vet visits to check, monitor and treat her. This was an incredibly expensive situation. Against all the odds Lolly has made a full recovery and has become quite a perky little character. She is often heard whinnying her hellos to the staff from across the yard! She was worth every penny and sleepless night!
George & Millie
On the 21st of September 2020 Woodfield received a call about two young foals. These helpless souls at the age of only three months old, just taken off their mothers, had already changed hands twice within 24 hours! As soon as this information was given to us we arranged for the foals to come straight to Woodfield. Once they had finished their two week quarantine it was finally time to join our beloved Tom! Tom (our orphan foal) now finally had someone to play with! The filly was named Millie by one of our supporters, and the colt was named George after one of our team members.
Olly was our first ever rescue at Woodfield. We found him emaciated next to the body of his dead field companion. We brought him back to Woodfield and he began receiving treatment straight away. He had a long road to recovery, but he is now five years old and enjoying life! He is a cheeky character and wants to be friends with everyone!
Wendy was a very neglected pony from Bridgend. Her feet were so long she had great difficulty walking down the low ramp of our trailer. It was apparent that this little elderly mare had suffered years of agony with Laminitis, resulting in her walking on the back of her heels. We named the pony Wendy after the incredible lady who has helped us so much with our rescue work. Wendy founded Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 1984, and then went on to open Hillside Animal Sanctuary, which is home to thousands of animals. These include many from the Swansea area. She has since been treated for laminitis, and will live out the rest of her days at Woodfield.
Middy & Mouse
Middy & Mouse are best friends and they live together with us. Middy also has another friend, called Favour. Middy has recently had a suspected abscess in his hoof. After some basic treatment, the abscess seems to be getting much better. Middy also has asthma. Middy has been a blood donor for sick foals needing blood on several occasions. Mouse is probably one of our saddest stories. Mouse was a rescue from a horse breeder in South Wales. She had been involved in a very bad car accident and broke her leg. Tragically, she was then put in foal, and would have been in massive amounts of pain. After her foal was born, she and her foal were attacked by a group of horses, making her injuries much worse, and sadly killing her foal. Mouse had a long recovery, but is now getting better.
John came to us after being very seriously injured in a road traffic accident. John is a very relaxed horse who loves cuddles and fuss. He will stay at the sanctuary for the rest of his life due to his injuries. He is an exceptionally handsome pony.
Paloma was removed from her owners during a bailiff intervention in Cardiff. Woodfield Animal Sanctuary heard that she ended up at the pound where her future would be at risk from being euthanised. Paloma is a Connemara pony (originating from Ireland) and is approximately 10 years old. We could see that she had been a riding pony and that she had a wonderful personality. She thrived on human contact and loved nothing more than being lavished with attention and a good grooming. She is a very special girl!
Jenny & Valentino
Jenny was a six month old filly who had been put in an advert on social media as ‘Free’. We immediately enquired, only to be informed that she was being picked up the following morning. We then found out that the person who was picking Jenny up was the meat man. We arrived at the location the following morning and after a long discussion with the owner they agreed to sign Jenny over to us. We had saved her from a short life and a horrific end. She was very scared and nervous, but we took her home with much relief. Within days of taking Jenny in, we had a call regarding a dumped colt, who was only six months old too. Colt foals are often dumped by irresponsible breeders who do not want to pay for castration. When we brought Valentino back, we knew it was meant to be! So, the next day we introduced Jenny & Valentino for the first time, and now they are inseparable!
After we received reports of a stray pony, we found Snowie who had been abandoned. She had been roaming around fields and busy roads. Due to the dangerous situation roaming busy roads, it was agreed that they needed to be taken in. She now lives happily, here at the Sanctuary.
Teddy is one of our Shetland ponies, and he had been to several homes before coming to us. Teddy was very lame when he came to us, and had to be treated for laminitis. Laminitis is extremely painful, and walking is even difficult. Teddy is a wonderful character and seems to be a favourite for children who visit. He currently lives in his own shed, in Middy & Mouse’s yard.
Willow & Woody
When we rescued Willow she was pregnant, and hours later her colt Woody was born! We believe that Willow is in her thirties, and is therefore quite an eledrly mother. They will now live out their days with us, here at Woodfield.
Julie, Tonto & Blaze
Julie, Tonto & Blaze were our slaughter house rescues from 2018. Julie is the mother, Tonto is her filly and Blaze is her adopted colt. Julie adopted Blaze as her own within minutes of Blaze’s biological mother passing away. She pushed him to drink her milk, and from that day onwards they have been inseparable!
Peggy & Suzie
We were alerted to this case by concerned members of the public who had seen a mare hit by a motorbike. Upon arrival we could see the mare looked in extremely poor condition and to our shock had a foal at her foot appearing less then a day old! We managed to get these two back to our sanctuary where we managed to get some colostrum into the foal and started vital care for the mare to try and increase her chances of survival. As we were unsure of the exact age of the foal our vet took a blood sample to test how much colostrum she had received, a day later the results came back that the foal had received very little colostrum. Our very own Middy stepped up and donated his own blood to help this foal, the transfusion was successful and within 24 hours the foal started to show signs of better health. We decided to call the mum Peggy and the foal Susie after our very close friend.
Mary & Casper
Mary and Casper were brought into us by a local farmer. They were both so emaciated that they could barely stand. Mary’s bones were sticking out of her skin when she arrived with us. She took a lot of time to regain weight and energy, but she and her colt are now doing amazing! Mary was named after Robbie’s mother. Sponsor Mary/Casper
Billy & Benji
We received an urgent phone call from our good friend who checks on the ponies on Clyne Common. This kind lady has had horses all her life and has a horse vet in her family so if she says something is urgent we know it truly is. At the scene, a young colt (male) had been kicked in the side of his face by one of the many stallions grazing the common. The pony, only two years of age was in a terrible state and in some shock. He needed immediate veterinary attention. Woodfield Animal Sanctuary had permission from the Gower Commoners Association to remove him immediately to get him the care he needed. We managed to catch him and bring him into the Sanctuary where his eye was examined by our vet. He was given painkillers and eye medication which needed to be put in his eye three times a day. Not an easy task when dealing with an unhandled, nervous, feral colt! We are delighted with his progress and Benji has come to love humans: he especially loves Alyson, one of our Woodfield staff! Billy was lucky to still be alive by the time a Woodfield staff member came across him in a sales ring, seconds from being purchased for the meat trade. He was in a pen with ten stallions, being kicked and bullied so badly that by the time he arrived at Woodfield Sanctuary his calcium levels were so low he needed immediate veterinary attention. Our lovely vet put Billy straight on a drip for him to receive calcium, saline and electro lights to save his life. Not an easy task as poor Billy was unhandled, unused to humans and frightened. Now recovered and ready to be castrated our vet discovered, upon examination, that Billy has a retained testicle (Rig) and requires extensive surgery to carry out the castration. This surgery costs £800. Castration is so important for all ponies to ensure their quality of life.
Poor Edward was dumped on farmer’s land. He was unhandled and wandering aimlessly before being harshly rounded up by a quad bike and backed into a large barn. The farmer had already booked a marksman to have him shot the following day. As soon as we had word of Edward’s plight we immediately made arrangements for us to pick him up. When Edward arrived home at the Sanctuary we gave him plenty of time to recover and rest. He took some time to come around to eating feed, having never seen it in his life before. He now loves his food! Edward is on a handling programme and is coming on steadily with gaining trust. We have also had him castrated. Like many abandoned ponies that Woodfield Sanctuary have taken in, the vast majority are colts (entire males). Sadly, irresponsible owners who breed without consideration will not pay to have these ponies and horses castrated. This leads to more indiscriminate breeding or abandonment.
Shadow, Lily & Alfie
Shadow is the mother, Lily is her filly and Alfie is her son. They are a very close pony family, and are never far from each other. We do not know their past, however they will now live out their days with us. When we first rescued them they were very nervous, but are now settled in and much more relaxed.
Bunny, Tasha & Jet
We were very pleased to help these sad defected mares found wandering around the streets in Builth Wells. One of them had been hit by a car, and both were nervous and frightened on the roads . The Police took them in and tried to find their owners but after 3 weeks , they were going to be put to sleep as no one had come forward to claim them. They were very thin and their coats were long and scruffy so it would appear they had been living wild for a long time. We found out that they had been straying for several months on housing estates, school grounds and on a very busy road where they were in great danger of being hit by traffic. When they arrived there were 2 that came in the Council lorry. Luckily only one of the two mares tested positive, and was pregnant. We built up their strength and condition and when the time came for Bunny to have her foal we took it in turns to stay near her, in case anything went wrong. We put a camera up in her stable to keep an eye on her without disturbing her. Bunny ended up giving birth in the Woodfield garden, and at the same moment she gave birth a Royal Air Force jet flew overhead, and we decided to name the foal Jet. Bunny, Tasha and Jet will now live out their days with us, here at Woodfield.
Woodfield had received a call about a mare on local common land, it was clear that the mare needed veterinary attention. After conversing with local authorities and the owner we were granted permission to remove the mare. Once Bonnie had settled in, we had her teeth seen by our vet as she had a huge lump on the side of her face. Her teeth were in a bad way! We had to remove fragments of a tooth that was broken and causing a lot of pain. Bonnie kept getting grass and food compacted in the hole between the two teeth and that gave her the look of a lump on the side of her sweet face. Our vet also scanned Bonnie and it was confirmed she was in foal (45 days!) she will foal at Woodfield in 2021 and live the rest of her life with her foal at the Sanctuary. Sponsor Bonnie
Helluva Boy was part of a castration program from Clyne common. He had been a resident of the common for many years. We fed this stallion in our catch pen for many months building his confidence enough to head collar him and remove him for castration. Once back at Woodfield and settled, it wasn’t long before he met his new best friend Bonnie. The two became a pair that are inseparable! We made the decision to keep Helluva Boy at Woodfield with his friend Bonnie. Sponsor Helluva Boy
Favour, Bibs & Bobs
Sadly both Bibs and Bobs mother passed away. Since being at the sanctuary Bibs has proved himself to be extremely bossy, friendly and loves having fun. As soon as he arrived, he made friends with our other residents, Bobs and Favour. Favour is a very elderly mare, with such a strong personality. As far as we are aware, Favour never had a foal of her own, and adopted Bibs and Bobs as her own. Sponsor Favour/Bibs/Bobs. See Favour Bibs & Bobs’ Video
Bambi is a bay pony that we found on a local common. Sadly, her mother passed away a few days after giving birth. If Bambi had not been found, and given an emergency substitute for foals milk, she would have probably not survived. She is now doing much better with us! Sponsor Bambi
Woodfield received a call regarding a mare in distress in a herd. When staff arrived it was clear that the mare had a broken leg. Authorities arrived and sadly nothing could be done for the mare which would leave her young foal an orphan. The only fortunate circumstance of the day was the foal was a few months old. We brought her home to Woodfield and she was named Rosie. She will have a place at the Sanctuary for the rest of her life alongside her very best friend, Bambi.Sponsor Rosie
Ola, Molly, Fred & Ava
We don’t know a lot about the history of these horses, but Molly came to us from a riding school that shut down, and then gave birth to Ava! Fred and Ola were part of our slaughter house rescue in 2018.Sponsor Ola/Molly/Fred/Ava
Sadly Kieran started his life at the end of a tether. In South Wales alone, there have been thousands of horses tethered on common land, as a means to provide them with free grazing. We heard about Kieran after several of our supporters rung in. Being so young, he was struggling. When no one came forward to claim him we took him in. After Kieran had finished his quarantine period, he found new friends to socialise with. Kieran is now such a character, and has grown so much since he first arrived with us. Sponsor Kieran
Flash & Fin
Flash and Fin were two unwanted colts left on a local common, which is unfortunately a very common call that we receive. When no one came forward to claim them both we made the decision to bring them back to Woodfield. They will live out the rest of their lives together. Sponsor Flash/Fin
Frank was another unwanted colt foal. Ripped off his mother at six months old and being unfortunate enough to be born a colt he became another statistic on the unwanted colt list for 2020. Colts cannot be put in foal and require castration in order for them to be able to go out alongside other horses or ponies. Castration is around £300 and those who breed irresponsibly and in an anti social manner with little thought or care for the future life of the foal or the distress of the mare who has her offspring so cruelly ripped off her, will not pay. Colts are the most frequently sent for slaughter or dumped. It is a massive problem. Lovely Frank has found himself a Grandfather in John who came to us after an RTA as a roaming colt. Yet again another colt thrown by the wayside.Sponsor Frank
Joey is one of our oldest residents. We think he is over 40 years old! He was grazing on local common land and was struggling through the winter months. Joey has Asthma and Pneumonia. Joey only has a small amount of teeth, and has numerous feeds a day. Joey is now enjoying a quiet retired life.
Popeye is one of our elderly residents. He was grazing on local common land and was struggling through the winter months. Popeye is now enjoying a quiet retired life.
Daisy, Robin, Bess & Baby
The family of four were taken in, with permission, from Clyne Common. Many of the commons in this area have become over grazed and have lacked a programme to humanely control the numbers of ponies living on the land. Sadly Clyne Common is in a very bad way with a large number of unowned ponies in poor condition breeding year on year. Stallions are large in number and fighting for the mares is problematic. The mares themselves are either emaciated or in poor condition and some of the foaling mares are very young. In order to start to manage the situation on Clyne Common the breeding needs to stop. We have for some time now been bringing the stallions and colts in for castration. This is not an easy task as these ponies are largely unhandled and the cost is significant. Our intention is to return some of the ponies, which have been brought back to full health, back to Clyne Common where they will be monitored daily. Ex stallion, Robin, came in to the Sanctuary first from Clyne common to be castrated. We then had a phone call from one of our volunteers, who helps monitor the ponies, regarding a filly foal (female) that was emaciated. We then brought in Mum and the foal, naming them Bess and Baby. Also brought in with Bess was her previous years foal, daughter, Daisy. We always keep family together. When Robin saw the girls he was very protective of them. We realised at once that this was actually a family with Robin being the father of Daisy and Baby. We pledged never to split them up.
Jack & Wenna
We were contacted by a lady from North Wales, who was having difficulty caring for her ponies after many years of caring for them. We agreed to help, and arranged for them to be transported to Woodfield. Jack is a wonderful pony, and Wenna is full of character!
Raury was rescued 10 years ago along with his elderly mother in Ireland. Raury was living in a rescue in Ireland with his mother, however the original owner stole him from the rescue along with his mother. After much battling, the rescue managed to get Raury and his mother back. Raury and his mother were then put out to graze. Unfortunately, the original owners tracked them down again, and stole them a second time. It was then decided that it would be safer for Raury to be in a different country. We were asked to take him, and we accepted. Raury was only a colt when we rescued him, and little did we know that he would grow to be 16.3hh! He has achieved so much, and is now living with a lovely family out on loan.
Poppy & Beau
Poppy & Beau came to us in 2017 after their owner, Swansea vet Hannah Wynne Richards, sadly passed away. They will now live out their days together at Woodfield.
A very well known horse sanctuary, that we have supported for many years, contacted us one evening to say a member of the public had rang in with news of a young colt they had been feeding for some time, had fallen into a deep lake. This family were just amazing, they stayed by his side and eventually got hold of him, then they somehow managed to pull the pony out. We firmly believe if they had not been feeding this pony in the weeks before this happening he would not have recovered. He would have been far too weak. Once out of the lake he was exhausted, cold and shivering. We then contacted the police and RSPCA as this pony had been running wild for sometime. The officer attending asked if we could have him at least until they found out who owned him. We carried him up and into our horse lorry and brought him home. He quickly made firm friends with a yearling colt who had been abandoned outside our front gate. He was named Lukas after the wonderful family that saved his life. There are lot of good people around that go out nightly with heavy bags of horse feed and haylage for these ponies, grazing wild out on commons, mountains, and sadly all too often, ponies just under our noses.