#CoronaChronicles 2021: Week 15

This week felt like a big step towards returning to back to normality, didn’t it?

For our English supporters, we hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to browse the shops, get a haircut (remember those?) or sip a drink down the pub – safely, of course.

We know our Scottish and Welsh supporters have a little longer to wait for some of their restrictions to ease, but it certainly feels like a corner is starting to turn in this long-fought battle against the pandemic.

We’d just like to remind everyone that our visitor centres will be reopening on Friday 30th April. Please stay tuned to our website and social media channels for further details and ticket booking soon! 

In the meantime, we’re continuing to bring you stories and images from across the Sanctuary, including these heartwarming images from Shetland pony Tinkerbell’s 13th birthday party – the first of our Adoption Stars to celebrate their birthday this year!

You may have seen on our social media over the weekend that Tinkerbell’s carers at Redwings Ada Cole in Essex made sure she didn’t miss out on any celebrations, including a pampering groom and a tasty pony-friendly cake, even though they couldn’t host an official party for her and her supporters this year. Even mascots Red and Wings made an appearance (see top photo)!

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Tinkerbell enjoyed tucking into her birthday cake, designed by one of her supporters!

To ensure everyone’s safety, we will sadly not be going ahead with Adoption Star birthday parties once our visitor centres reopen, but there are still plenty of ways everyone can get involved and ensure these very special horses and donkeys get to mark their big days.

We’re inviting supporters to send in birthday cards, submit designs for their birthday cakes and even spoil them with gifts from specially curated Amazon Wishlists, full of all the treats our Adoption Stars absolutely love!

Click here to find out more about Adoption Star birthday parties this year and a link to Tinkerbell’s Amazon Wishlist if you’d still like to send this lovely girl a gift. 

Did you know we’ve also created Amazon Wishlists for each of our visitor centres, sanctuary farms, rehoming centres and Horse Hospital? Each list is full of incredibly useful everyday items, from haynets to grooming brushes, hoof picks to feed buckets – each one makes a real difference to the care we provide our rescued residents. Once purchased they are delivered straight to the centre of your choice!

Please click here to discover what’s on the lists! 

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Chloe and Adoption Star Gibson show a poop scoop and treatball kindly bought for Redwings Mountains.

Since we launched our Amazon Wishlists last year our centres have been receiving gifts to the value of about £200 each month, which is incredible! Thank you so much!

You also continue to amaze us with your support through regular donation giving and this week we’d like to tell you about a very special project we’re now able to take forward thanks to your help.

In a previous edition of #CoronaChronicles, we spoke to you about our Reception Centre – a specialist facility where our new arrivals are first cared for. Some of the horses who enter the centre are in desperate need of emergency treatment, including some who very sadly are so weak they struggle to support themselves.

We will soon be creating a new extra-large recovery stable which will be fitted with a supporting beam and hoist mechanism so we can use our existing horse slings – which can normally only be used at our nearby Horse Hospital – at the Reception Centre too. A big thank you to our in-house maintenance team who are taking on the work!

These lifesaving slings are used to give extremely poorly horses extra support while they recover. Faith, who now lives at Redwings Oxhill in Warwickshire, was one of the first horses at the Sanctuary to benefit from a sling when she arrived in 2013. She had been found collapsed in a field, emaciated and too weak to stand.

She was rushed to our Horse Hospital where she was placed in a supportive sling and given round-the-clock intensive care. It was a week before she stood on her own, but little by little Faith began to recover her spirit and strength, and today she is hardly recognisable from the starving horse we first saw.

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Faith pictured in a supportive sling and the beautiful horse she's become.

We look forward to bringing you more updates about this project as it progresses.

However, in the meantime, we’re going to double back to Redwings Ada Cole to close this week’s blog on a video starring their adorable Shetland pony herd. You may even be able to spot our friend Tinkerbell again!

Here the excited bunch are being turned out onto their grassy summer paddock – they seem to be in as much of a hurry as we are to get to the hairdressers!

Thank you #RedwingsAngels

To read last week’s #CoronaChronicles, please click here.