#CoronaChronicles: Week 19

What a fantastic time we had last weekend at Redwings Caldecott – the first of our visitor centres to reopen since the lockdown!

Thank you so much to everyone who booked tickets to come along. We know our four-legged friends very much enjoyed seeing you again too! We had some lovely comments from our visitors, including from supporter Kirsty, who wrote on Twitter:

“We had a great day at Redwings Caldecott! We were really impressed with all the Covid-19 safety measures and hope the rest of the trial opening goes well! Brilliant friendly staff as always. Our 7-year-old was very happy to see Fox! Thank you.”

Redwings Caldecott will open again this Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, we’re also gearing up to reopen our Redwings Aylsham centre, which will welcome back visitors from Saturday 8th August.

Remember, entry to both of these centres will only be permitted with a ticket for an allocated time slot. You can book your tickets in advance and find out about all the safety measures we have put in place by clicking here

In other news, it’s been a very busy week for Redwings!

We’ve offered a safe, forever home to a three-year-old pony called Libby, who was signed over into our care by her owner. Unfortunately, he was struggling to take proper care of her and she is sadly in a very thin state. Libby is now beginning her recovery at our specialist quarantine centre in Norfolk, where she is receiving plenty of TLC from our vets and equine carers.

Despite the pressures exerted by the coronavirus outbreak, we have remained determined to be there for as many horses in need as possible throughout this unprecedented time, and she is just one of over 70 horses, ponies and donkeys we have taken into the Sanctuary since the lockdown began.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, our Head of Welfare Nic de Brauware travelled to Gelligaer Common in South Wales this week, alongside the RSPCA, to assess two semi-feral ponies whose condition had raised concerns amongst local members of the public.

One stallion was discovered to be suffering from a very painful lameness so was carefully rounded-up and taken into nearby boarding for immediate treatment. The second reported pony had a wound but, on assessment, this was deemed to be healing well so no further action was needed.

While on the Common, however, a third pony was reported to us as being stuck in a pond having been spotted moving awkwardly. Very sadly, it was discovered that one of the pony’s legs was broken and all that could be done was to put the pony to sleep to end its suffering.

Here at our Horse Hospital, our Sanctuary vet team have been working tirelessly to save two horses who required emergency colic surgery. Colic, a severe type of abdominal pain which can be a sign of something very serious, can strike very suddenly.

Thoroughbred Venice and Native cross Grasshopper underwent surgery in the middle of the night this month. Our vet team was able to act so quickly and give them the best chance of survival thanks to the keen eyes of our skilled checkers, who check our horses every day, and spotted that both horses were displaying symptoms of colic.

But the story doesn’t end there; since their surgeries they’ve also been receiving round-the-clock after care by our vets, nursing team and equine carers to aid them in their recoveries.

It’s thanks to you, our supporters, that we can fund such life-saving expertise and facilities, like an operating theatre, at our Horse Hospital which ensure we can give our rescued horses and donkeys the best care possible at the Sanctuary.

We know you share our admiration for our amazing staff because you’ve also been generously responding this week to an appeal on social media for donations of bicycles for our nursing team!

Since the lockdown, our nurses have been travelling around our large Sanctuary sites using bicycles so they can avoid car sharing and safely social distance. However, their bicycles are old, not very reliable and there are not enough for the whole team to use.

In just a few days, we’ve been kindly offered five pre-loved bicycles. We can’t thank you enough!

If you don’t have a bicycle to offer, you can still support our incredible teams and the care of our rescued horses by donating to our coronavirus appeal - just click here! 

And, from Monday 3rd August, our young supporters will have the chance to find out more about the care we give our rescued residents when we launch our Online Summer Club!

Each year, we provide fun, educational sessions for children at our visitor centres during the school holidays. However, with not all our centres able to open at this time, we’ve decided to move the club completely online for 2020!

Every Monday throughout August we’ll be publishing videos and activities to enjoy at home, and we’re kicking-off next week with a look at ‘Horse Health’ with the help of our team at Redwings Mountains in Scotland and their adorable residents.

We hope you'll join us!