A rescued horse from Redwings Horse Sanctuary has found a loving new home at the farm of wildlife television presenter Kate Humble.
The moment Gilbert, a handsome six-year-old cob, arrived at his new home was filmed for the latest episode of Escape to the Farm, which aired last week on Channel 5.
The series follows life on Kate’s farm, ‘Humble by Nature’, in Monmouthshire, Wales, and this episode captured Gilbert being led from the Redwings horsebox and meeting his new Guardian Sarah Stephens.
Sarah had been searching for a companion for horse Rags, who lives at Kate’s farm and who had sadly lost his stablemate. After enquiring with Redwings, the charity’s Rehoming team in Norfolk set about finding a perfect new friend for Rags.
Gilbert's mother Florence was rescued from horrific conditions as part of a large-scale rescue operation. However, as he was born following the rescue, he has never known anything other than love and care and was chosen specifically by the team for the important job of being a friend to Rags because of his calm and friendly nature.
Having arrived at his new home in April, Gilbert is settling well into his new surroundings.
Kate said: “Finding the perfect companion for a horse who has lost his stablemate of many years was not something I expected to be easy. But the knowledge and experience of the staff at Redwings helped us find Gilbert. He and our Rags struck up an instant rapport and Gilbert has become well and truly part of the farm family.
“We are so grateful for the careful consideration that Redwings gave to allow us to rehome this lovely horse and, in so doing, support the work of this excellent charity.”
Redwings has been rehoming rescued horses since 2005. Due to Covid safety measures, the charity is currently rehoming just non-ridden companion ponies and unbacked project horses - the latter receive basic training but are suitable to be trained to be ridden by experienced Guardians once in their new home.
Despite the changes, Redwings experienced its most successful rehoming year ever in 2020 and recently rehomed its 100th pony since the onset of the pandemic.
Rachel Angell, Redwings’ Head of Norfolk Equine Operations and Rehoming, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Gilbert is enjoying his new home – and has become a television star to boot! Thank you to Kate and Sarah for highlighting the sheer joy of rehoming a rescued horse and the importance of companion ponies.
“Companions not only provide invaluable friendship for another horse, but they can also act as calming travel buddies or can simply be wonderful pets in their own right. When you rehome from a registered charity like Redwings, you’re not only giving a second start in life to a rescued horse but you’re also providing space at the Sanctuary for another horse in need to be brought to safety.
“We wish Gilbert, Rags, Sarah and Kate many happy years together!”
Episodes of Escape to the Farm are available to watch on My5 at www.channel5.com.
To find out more about Redwings’ rehoming scheme, visit redwings.org.uk/rehoming.