Love transforms unruly rescued pony

2014-10-15 00:00

A SCRAGGY, bad-tempered pony rescued in the nick of time from a butcher’s auction three years ago is now a sleek, meek champion.

Hilton resident Vanessa Clewlow met the pony Chuckleberry Finn when a friend saved him from the slaughterhouse in late 2011.

“She brought him home and we took him for my daughter,” said Clewlow.

According to her, Chuckleberry Finn (Chuck) was skin and bones when he came to them.

“The poor little guy wasn’t in great condition, but I could see a superstar under the shaggy coat and ribs. He has a very spunky personality. When we got him he was quite mean and unruly, but now he is as sweet as pie. He is our absolute pride and joy,” she said, adding his favourite food is carrots — followed by Fritos.

“It is amazing how he was a skinny, nothing pony and he completely changed, because of our love and hard work,” said Clewlow.

Clewlow’s 11-year-old daughter Josephine started riding at a young age and when Chuck trotted into her life, she started competing with him as her steed.

They quickly became an unstoppable team and in September won Champion Novice Show Pony at the KwaZulu­Natal show-jumping championships.

“He has a heart of gold and always tries his best,” said a proud Clewlow.

Josephine said she loves her Chuck with all his personality.

“When I got him, he rode too fast for me and he would put his ears back and try to bite me.

“Now he still sticks his ears back, but it’s just him pulling faces. I am very, very, very happy I got him. He is my favourite pony,” said a shy Josephine.

“It’s unbelievable he was just discarded,” said Clewlow, remembering how he was almost slaughtered with the rest of the horses at the auction.

“Chuck was one of the lucky ones.”

Clewlow says she and her family look forward to a wonderful and successful future with their beloved Chuckleberry Finn, the rags to riches pony who almost ended up on a plate.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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