Rescuing and re-homing equines since 1974


Our Latest Hope Pastures News

Click on the news headlines below to find out more!

06 Jan
  • By Hope Pastures
  • No Comments
  • news

A sad farewell to Sparky

A very sad post today, as we have to let you know that Sparky was put to sleep yesterday after a sudden illness.
Sparky was very fit and well for his age and always full of beans, so him going downhill so fast between tuesday and wednesday was a shock to us all, and quite unexpected.

Despite all the treatment and medication given by our brilliant vets, and special care and and supervision given by our dedicated staff, Sparky still continued to deteriorate and it was decided that the kindest thing was to say goodbye and let Sparky sleep.

Sparky was rescued by us over 8 years ago, with the heartbreaking and horrifying story of being a much loved children’s ridden pony throughout his life, only to be found waiting for the meat man at a horse sales.

Many ponies like Sparky are often sold on again and again because they become outgrown by children, and move from home to home, trying their heart out and behaving so well, winning rosettes and trophies, only to end up on the scrap heap once they develop health problems or become worn and tired.
Sadly for Sparky, he had been a children’s pony into his twenties and once he was outgrown was sold to keep another horse company. The trail then goes cold and we never found out how he ended up stood tied to a lorry at a horse market, dehydrated and very underweight, standing patiently all day with nothing to eat or drink, and resigned to his fate at the end of the day when he would be loaded on to the meat man’s wagon.
Fortunately we were able to negotiate his rescue and he came home on a wagon with us, to his final and true forever home.

We will always feel proud to know he has had the very best twilight years a pony could wish for!
The best food, clean warm stable of his very own lovingly kept immaculate daily by our staff and volunteers. The best and tastiest feed, specially chosen to help him manage to chew with the few teeth he had left.
A wardrobe of designer rugs which any pony would be jealous of, in all the cutest colours and shades.Only the best for a pony who had once been thought of as worthless, he deserved to be treated like a prince.
This was all only achieved with the help of you, our supporters who donate not only funds for vet care, but donate rugs, feed and equipment to enable all of it.

Sparky, far from being retired and no longer used, was given the special role as a ‘Pony Day Pony’ meaning that he took part in grooming sessions on our pony days and children’s parties.
He adored being petted all over by so many tiny hands, covered in ribbons and generally adored by hundreds of children and adults alike over the past 8 years. We could almost describe him as the most popular pony in the whole of Leeds!
He would often doze off in to pony dream land whilst being pampered, maybe daydreaming about his younger days when he was the apple of a little child’s eye and would get so much fuss and love before going to a show or on a ride.

We believe sparky was in his early 30’s and so must have had some stories to tell if he could have spoken.

Sparky was a very loyal friend and once he made a new pony pal he would become very attached, especially to the lady ponies in his paddock who he would claim as his own and refuse to share.
Not every girlfriend he had felt the same, and his most recent true love, Hope, tolerated him very well and we are sure will miss his undivided attention. He would never rest until they were side by side, but because of his poor eyesight he had some trouble finding her in the field, often trotting around neighing full volume until finally finding her, often not even very far from him which always made us chuckle.

Although Sparky has now gained his wings and gone trotting over rainbow bridge to join his old friends, he will be remembered every day of every year by all of the staff, volunteers, visitors, fundraisers and supporters as well as so many children who he made an impression on, he will live on in all our hearts.

Rest in peace Sparky and thank you for making us all so happy.