Adoption Star donkey Esther will be welcoming visitors to Redwings’ Hapton headquarters, south of Norwich, when the horse rescue charity hosts a day of tours, demonstrations, food and fun this month.
Esther was just two months old when she was rescued from the horrors of Spindle Farm, Amersham, in January 2008. She was so weak from the neglect she had suffered that when she arrived at Redwings she had to be carried off the horsebox.
Now happy and healthy, Esther lives at Redwings’ Caldecott visitor centre, near Great Yarmouth, but is making the special trip to attend the open day in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of her rescue.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service will also be returning by popular demand to give a fascinating and dramatic demonstration of how they rescue animals in tricky situations using one of their training model horses.
Although Redwings has visitor centres across the UK, its headquarters – home to its largest Rehoming Centre and Horse Hospital – opens just once a year to the public.
Redwings’ Chief Executive Lynn Cutress, said:
“We’re delighted to be welcoming Esther to our Hapton Open Day. Ten years ago, the image of this little donkey being carried off the horsebox became a global symbol of the neglect that took place at Spindle Farm.
“Today she remains an inspirational symbol of the recoveries made by so many of the Amersham survivors and the happy lives they now enjoy. We can’t wait for people to meet her and find out more about her story in this special anniversary year – and we know she will adore all the fuss and cuddles too!
“We’re also thrilled to welcome back Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, whose fascinating demonstration of how they rescue horses, was one of the many highlights of last year’s open day. It’s definitely not to be missed!”
The open day, which will run from 10am to 4pm, will include tours of the hospital by Redwings’ own veterinary team, including a special tour designed just for young children. During the vet tour, everyone has the chance to meet rescued horses and donkeys and find out how the charity cares for its 1,500 residents – of which almost 350 live at its 350-acre Hapton site!
Redwings’ rehoming team will also be showcasing how the charity trains its horses – many of whom arrive at the Sanctuary either semi-feral or having never been handled – with the aim of helping them find loving new homes outside the Sanctuary as part of the charity’s rehoming programme.
And there will be plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with the horses with pony grooming and self-guided walks around the centre’s paddocks, so don’t forget your good footwear. Look out too for cheeky mascots Red and Wings who will be dropping by to meet everyone!
After all that fun, visitors can relax with their pick of hot and cold refreshments, as well as browse a bring ‘n’ buy sale, a tack sale and Redwings’ own pop-up shop full of exclusive gifts with all proceeds going towards the care of the charity’s rescued residents.
Redwings Open Day is completely free and will take place on Sunday 15th July, from 10am to 4pm, at Redwings Hapton, Norwich, Norfolk, NR15 1SP.