Sunday, February 25, 2024

Stig no longer in the dumps

From the uncertain beginnings of living on a landfill site to becoming a much loved and cared for pony – it’s fair to say Bransby Horses’ Stig has had an adventurous year.

The friendly black and white pony made headlines when he was rescued from the site in Gainsborough in January.

The little colt had been spotted wandering around the site for a few days and concerned staff alerted equine welfare charity Bransby Horses to see what could be done.

An abandonment noticed was served and when no one claimed him, Bransby Horses were able to take him in and start him on a rehabilitation programme.

Nine months later he has started a new life in a foster home where he is providing companionship to an older horse with one of the charity’s supporters.

Stig’s handler at Bransby Horses, Natalia De Benedictis said: “From the day we started handling and training Stig he was amazing. He never said no or proved difficult, he’s such a lovely pony that deserves to be loved and cared for.”

Stig’s foster carer Victoria Hotchkin collected Stig from the charity’s main site in Bransby near Lincoln this week and says he has settled in well with her older horse Cyril.

And she added: “I applied to foster a horse from Bransby Horses after my old mare had to be put to sleep. When they rang me and said they had the perfect pony for us I couldn’t believe it.

“We had three dates with Stig, so we could get to know him and be sure he was right for us and we were right for him. It was love at first sight really. I just thought what a cute little pony.

“He will have a home for life with us and I feel so lucky to be able to give him a new start where he will be pampered and loved forever.”

Stig and Cyril live on land behind Victoria’s house so she is able to see them from her kitchen window.

“I just love the peace and tranquillity of being with horses. They are such majestic creatures and I think it’s a privilege to have them in my life.”

Bransby Horses Perfect Partner Rehoming Scheme offers some of their rescued animals the chance to enjoy life in a carefully selected loan home, freeing up time and space at the charity for the rescue and rehabilitation of others.

To apply to rehome one of Bransby Horses’ equines, find out more about the charity’s work or to make a donation visit

What the law says about horse ownership

Since 2020 it has been a legal requirement for all equine owners to make sure their horses are microchipped and the details of ownership are up to date.

Microchips are important as they allow owners to be traced through the Central Equine Database – check

If you have a horse make sure your details are up to date with the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) and the microchip is properly registered with them. This will help lost or stolen horses to be reunited with their owners.

An Abandonment Notice runs for four working days and unfortunately, Stig’s expired without anyone coming forward. At the end of the notice, the ownership of the animal is legally transferred to the landowner who can then decide what to do with the equine, which can include selling or rehoming them.

If a horse is suspected of being abandoned, the landowner is responsible for providing that animal with adequate food, water, shelter and veterinary care while an owner is sought.

Bransby Horses and other animal welfare charities are always happy to offer advice and guidance if needed.

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