Redwings says goodbye to oldest resident

redwings say goodbye to Willow. Image of grey pony, Willow

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has announced the sad passing of its oldest resident, Welsh pony Willow, at the age of 46. 

Willow came to Redwings in 2003 following a successful RSPCA prosecution. She had been living on the Welsh commons, where she had received little or no handling from humans. Over the years, she became a friendly and much-loved girl and was a favourite of all those who met her. 

Sadly, on Friday (15th March), Willow experienced sudden and severe colic, and though the charity’s expert teams did everything possible, staff had to let her go to prevent further suffering.  

Willow, who lived at Redwings’ headquarters in Norfolk, recently celebrated her birthday. She enjoyed a special cake with her horse friends and received countless messages from supporters. BBC Radio Norfolk’s listeners put together a special birthday playlist for the much-loved pony. Her remarkable age even saw Redwings contacted by Guinness World Records. 


Redwings vet Dawn Trayhorn, who cared for Willow, said: “While Willow’s grand age was rare, the specialist care we were able to provide her – thanks to our supporters – played a massive role in her enjoying such a long and healthy life, and I’m so proud to have been a part of that. 

“She was so loved by so many, and I feel for everyone who is grieving at this news. I’ve never known so many people come to say goodbye to a pony. 

“It was the first time since we lost foal Phoenix in 2021 that a rainbow could be seen over our Horse Hospital. 

“Willow was our most golden of golden oldies and truly one of a kind. We won’t forget her.” 

To support Redwings’ work with ponies like Willow, who spend their lives in Sanctuary care, please consider making a donation via the webiste.

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