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Welcome, George and Clifford

Little George and Clifford are a duo of heartbreakers who have joined us recently, arriving from a small charity in Devon, The Hugs Foundation.

The foundation sadly discovered that they had an outbreak of Strangles at their site and after getting local vets in to scope their herd, a painfully cute little Shetland pony called George was found to be the carrier of this very nasty bacteria. With the regular vet call outs and extra care and time, keeping the rest of the herd free from infection, it was too much for a small charity to take on and so they reached out to us.

Originally, 14 year old Shetland George’s elderly owner could no longer give him and his friends the proper care they needed and so surrendered them to Hugs Foundation. This is where George met his best friend, Clifford.

2 year old Clifford, who is a Dartmoor type pony, managed to miss the previous years’ ‘round-up’ from the moors and when he and his younger brother were subsequently brought off the moor no-one came forward to claim them, so he also went to Hugs.
We have decided to keep them together for companionship, as the treatment can take some weeks and they are highly bonded and nervous to handle. Clifford will be monitored very closely by our vet and immediately treated if he develops any signs or symptoms of infection.

Strangles is a disease that can spread easily and whilst almost never fatal, is an extremely unpleasant disease for a horse to experience. At The Horse Trust we do have experience with Strangles so we have the protocols and facilities in place to keep the rest of our herd safe whilst clearing George of infection. It’s perfectly possible to treat a carrier, but they must be fully isolated and receive significant veterinary attention to protect the other horses and ponies they live with.

We will continue to keep a close eye on this pair and are hopeful that with love, patience, care and training they will develop their confidence. We look forward to sharing their journey with you here and on our social media pages. If you are able, please consider giving to our Winter Welfare Crisis which will help us to continue to rescue and treat more horses just like these.


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