Posted: Sat 20th Apr 2019

Around 100 people attended ‘peaceful protest’ in Deeside as bid to ‘rescue’ young pony continues

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 20th, 2019

Around 100 people gathered in Deeside on Friday night to hold what was described as a ‘peaceful protest’ and show support for an animal sanctuary’s attempt to rescue a young pony seen by thousands in a viral video.

Footage filmed earlier this week and posted online shows a colt tied up next the Lidl on Deeside Retail Park, the young horse is seen to rear up before collapsing next to a caravan while in the harness of a cart.

The videos which has been viewed tens of thousands of times, show concerned onlookers remonstrating with a man, believed to be the owner.

Nadine Williams who filmed one of the videos said: “my sister found a horse tied up around by the Range in Deeside, she gave the horse water the horse had a big gash on its head and sores round it’s mouth.”

The treatment of the young horse which has been named ‘Gary’ has left many people locally feeling upset and angry at the perceived lack of action from the RSPCA and police.

Sandra Kvaerneng Stolp from Swansea based Whispering Willows Sanctuary saw the footage and drove 150 miles to Deeside in a bid to ‘rescue’ Gary.

Miss Stolp reportedly agreed to buy the pony from the owner initially for £2,000 but was told it had been taken to a vet by the RSPCA, the yearling was then handed back to the owners after the sanctuary paid £750 bill.

Last night Ms Stolp made a second trip – in as many days – from South Wales to Deeside, she called on supporters to meet on the carpark of the Deeside Retail Park at around 11pm.

[Sandra Kvaerneng Stolp addressing a gathering of around 100 in Deeside on Friday night]

Addressing a crowd of around 100 people and thousands more watching live via Facebook Ms Stolp said:

“We came here, we didn’t think we were going to have any more contact with them [the owners] we had a phone call on the way down here, asking if i dropped this [peaceful protest] here and now and gave them £6000, that would be it.

“I was totally prepared to do that.” However, Miss Stolp said she didn’t want to hand the money over and risk not getting the horse.

“We tried dealing with them [the owners] yesterday [Thursday] when we had barely raised £2000, we had to pay the vet bill upfront, we tried to bargain with them, the weren’t having any of it. 

There was nothing we could do yesterday our hands were tied.”

The gathering lasted around an hour before Miss Stolp and fellow volunteers from the sanctuary received a tip off about the horses wearabouts and left the retail park.

In a Tweet last night to Deeside.com the RSPCA said:

“We have been investigating this since it was reported to us, and continue to do so.

We have paid two independent vets to assess this situation, and for three days, we have been urgently awaiting further footage to review.”

North Wales Police said on Thursday:

“We are aware of the high feelings regarding the incident involving the horse yesterday afternoon.

The RSPCA and an Independent Vet attended and were happy with the Horse’s condition and care.

The indication was there were no signs of neglect and hence no criminal issues for the Police to act upon.

Flintshire Council Animal standards and North Wales Police’s Rural crime team are also aware of the issue.

We are the Police, but sometimes other agencies have primacy in investigations and matters.

We will take advice from and support those agencies with their powers and responsibilities if required. We will continue to monitor with partners.”

In response the RSPCA have since said:

“The statement saying we were ‘happy’ with the care of this horse is not correct.

We are looking into this issue and we are unable to go into further details for legal reasons.”However, in order for the RSPCA to seize any animal, an independent vet must deem it is suffering.

In some cases, we may not like the conditions that animals are being kept in, but we can only act within the law.”


Press coverage: 

Wales Online – This ‘exhausted’ pony collapsed in a Lidl car park and now thousands want to save it

Leaderlive – RSPCA and independent vet say ‘no signs of neglect’ of horse in Queensferry

Metro – Investigation launched over video of horse ‘covered in sores’ collapsing

Mail Online – Young horse rears and collapses on its back while being attached to a racing cart in horrifying footage being investigated by the RSPCA

North Wales Live – The shocking moment horse rears up and collapses in The Range car park in front of horrified shoppers


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