RSPCA rescue pony strikes gold with Olympic double medal dressage star

The dressage champion fell in love with the scrawny black foal when he came into the RSPCA’s care on welfare grounds shortly before Christmas last year* (2013) and she nicknamed him Santa.

The cheeky yearling has struck gold and has been offered a home with Charlotte and her prize winning horses in Gloucestershire.

Charlotte said: “Santa’s going to have a really great life, he’s going to be a field companion for one of my younger horses, Vogue, and who knows what will happen in the future as he grows, maybe he could be another Olympic champion?”

Charlotte won double Olympic gold at London 2012, was the European Champion in 2013 and holds all three world records in dressage.  Just this month she also won the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Lyon on her horse, Valegro.

The dressage star fell for the foal when she met him through a friend who cares for horses on behalf of the RSPCA. She called him Santa and asked her sponsors Bucas for a rug small enough for the foal who was so tiny he was wearing a dog coat to keep him warm.

The medalist proved she has a heart of gold and decided to offer him a great new home.

She said: “I fell in love with him when I first saw him and I said ‘I’ll rescue him’. There are hundreds of horses and ponies which need homes, it has has really opened my eyes to what’s going on.

“It would be great if more people could rescue, you don’t need to breed them, there’s some lovely horse and ponies there. I’m really pleased I’m able to help the RSPCA.”

RSPCA rehoming officer, Gareth Johnson, said:  “It is fantastic that someone of Charlotte’s standing is taking on a rescued pony.  We know he will now have the best life in her care, he really has struck gold.

“We and other charities are currently in the grip of a horse crisis. Record numbers of horses are being dumped, neglected and abused.

“There are more than 800 horses and ponies in the care of the RSPCA and we desperately need good homes for them so we hope that lots more people will now see the benefit of giving a rescued horse a second chance in life.”

If you are looking for a ‘golden girl or boy’ to join your home check out the RSPCA’s top palominos.

Agnus, a part-bred Welsh mountain pony came to our centre as part of a large welfare case. She was unhandled and extremely nervous. After many weeks of work gaining her trust, the two-year-old has become a very sweet youngster and enjoys human company.

Agnus is being cared for by staff at RSPCA Gonsal Farm in Shrewsbury. To find out more call 0300 123 0753 or email

Lovely Star the Shetland pony is only 7.2 hands but has got a huge personality. The six-year-old mare has got a very sweet nature and is very good to handle and groom.

She enjoys a cuddle and would make an ideal companion pony or pet when she is available for rehoming soon.

Star is being cared for by staff at the RSPCA Lockwood Centre for Horses and Donkeys near Godalming, Surrey. To find out more call 0300 123 0720.

Gorgeous Zak was a nervous chap when he came into the RSPCA’s care but thanks to patience and gentle handling he’s flourished into a confident little pony.

The 11.3 hand palomino gelding is responding really well to be backed and we hope he will make a wonderful lead rein pony.

Zak is being cared for by staff at RSPCA Felledge in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham. To find out more about him call 0300 123 0708

Stunning Secret is a lovely 9-year-old palomino mare. She came into RSPCA care with a foal at foot and is now looking for a loving forever home. She is about 13 hands tall and has an exceptionally sweet nature. She is very good to handle, loves fuss and attention and would make an ideal companion.

Secret is being cared for by staff at RSPCA Gonsal Farm in Shrewsbury. To find out more call 0300 123 0753 or email

To find out how to rehome a horse from the RSPCA please go to



Notes to editors:

*Santa came into RSPCA in early December 2013 as part of a welfare investigation, and was cared for by a private boarder. He was signed over into our care so is available to be rehomed however we are unable to give any more details of his background due to live legal proceedings.

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