This young pony was shivering so much when World Horse Welfare Field Officer Jonathan Jackson reached him that it was almost impossible to examine him.
The little two year old colt was extremely emaciated. He was found by himself on a fenced in piece of land with no grazing just off the A47 near Walpole, in an area known as “Rotten Row.”
The temperature was -4 degrees at the time, with freezing fog, and Mr Jackson believes the animal would not have survived much longer if concerned passers-by had not raised the alarm.
He said: “Because he was in such a poor condition he could not stand the cold and was shivering so much it was almost impossible to check his breathing rate.”
The pony is now in the care of World Horse Welfare, and the charity is trying to trace the owner.
The Queen’s granddaughter and former Eventing World Champion Zara Phillips has got engaged to long-term boyfriend Mike Tindall, Buckingham Palace has said.
Photo: Ian Jones
Mr Tindall proposed to Zara, born 15th May 1981, on Monday night at their Gloucestershire home.
A Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Zara Phillips to Mr Mike Tindall, son of Mr Phillip and Mrs Linda Tindall.”
The news that Zara is to wed her boyfriend, a professional rugby player with Gloucester, comes soon after the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton last month, and although the couple have not yet set a date but it seems likely they will tie the knot in 2011 – setting up the prospect of two royal weddings next year.
A Palace spokeswoman said: “The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are delighted with the news.” Zara is the second child and only daughter of Princess Anna and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips. She is the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and is 12th in the line of succession to the British throne.
Following in both her parents’ footsteps, Zara is an accomplished equestrian, and in 2006 won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Two weeks after Wayne Rooney signed his new deal with Manchester United, worth a reputed £180,000 a week, William Fox-Pitt won three-day eventing’s richest prize in the shadows of the Pyrenees. Yet the cheque that Britain’s leading rider received for a year’s graft in the saddle amounted to about half the weekly wage of the England centre-forward.
Fox-Pitt got £95,000 for winning the HSBC FEI Classics Series, which pulls together points earned from performances at the five most prestigious competitions on the eventing calendarr – Badminton, Burghley, Kentucky, Luhmühlen and finally Pau, in south west France. But for a sport enjoyed by royalty and widely perceived to be restricted to the upper classes, it is light years from the riches enjoyed by top footballers. The Classics Series is highly regarded by the riders.
Over a three-year contract HSBC is contributing about £650,000 in prize money. The sport, however, still manages to dip under the radar of many due to those perceptions of elitism. Competitors are hoping this will alter, especially with the London Olympics, where gold medal aspirations are realistic at individual and team level.
“The Olympics in London will give the sport a huge lift. The experience of the Olympics is incredible and maybe, if we are successful in our home Olympics, it will help change the public’s perception of the sport.” said Fox-Pitt.
Britain has established a strong record on horseback down the years at the Olympics. Fox-Pitt, 41, was part of the British team that took team bronze at the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
He was also in the team that won silver at Athens in 2004 where Leslie Law, a 45-year-old from Hereford, won individual gold. A team including Zara Phillips’s father, Captain Mark Phillips, won team gold at Munich in 1972. The British team also came first four years earlier in Mexico. They won their first medal way back in Antwerp in 1920.
“Winning the Olympics is the pinnacle of any athlete’s career; it’s a dream,”
said Fox-Pitt who, with Mary King, Nicola Wilson and Kristina Cook, won the team eventing title at this year’s World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
“It is what we are all aiming for and I’m very excited about it. This is as good as it gets and I’m sure it will be a very uplifting experience.”
It is already the world’s biggest selling arena, hosting rock concerts, opera, ballet and tennis. Now the O2 is to become an indoor polo venue.
Rivals: Polo captains Adolfo Casabal (Argentina), Chris Hyde (England), Jamie Le Hardy (Scotland) and Roddy Williams (South Africa) - Photo Source: This is London
February will see the official winter international arena polo match between Englandand Argentina at the Greenwich landmark.
Captain Michael Amoore, of the Hurlingham Polo Association, said: “The Gaucho International will be the culmination of an incredible arena season and a historic step for the sport itself.
“I cannot wait to see how the O2 transforms into the host venue for the world’s first internationals in an indoor polo arena. This really is incredible and unique.”
Arena polo is a faster version of the sport and is played on a smaller pitch with teams of three rather than the conventional four players.
The Gaucho International Polo event is being seen as an attempt to popularise the ancient game, known as the Sport of Kings, which is traditionally a pastime of the wealthy.
Until injuries forced his retirement in 2005, the Prince of Wales was a regularly competitor and both Princes William and Harry are keen players.
Alongside the match will be a “have-a-go-at-polo” area where the public will have an opportunity to try their hand at a game first played in the Far East in the 8th century BC. In addition to the feature match, there will be games between South Africa andScotland and Oxford and Cambridge.
David Campbell, president and chief executive of O2 operator AEG Europe, said:
“We are hugely excited to welcome Gaucho International Polo and give our visitors a chance to experience what I know will be a thrilling sporting event.”