Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018


Charities like the ISPCA and IHWT work at the coalface of equine welfare, dealing with the misfortunate horses and ponies that become casualties of the unregulated sector.

Owners for abandoned and mistreated horses are rarely identified and prosecutions are, sadly, few and far between.

A complete revamp of Ireland's horse identification system and enforcement of any penalties for infringements would make the work of welfare charities far easier.

A person convicted of cruelty and either fined or imprisoned would be far less likely to do the same thing again than someone who gets away scot free. Until such a system comes into play, the charities must continue to pick up the pieces.

The ISPCA rescue centres are currently full to capacity and before the charity can take in any more horses and ponies, it needs to find homes for a wide range of horses.

The following is just a selection of the horses and ponies looking for new homes and information on all horses can be found on or by contacting the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford on 043 33 25035 or the ISPCA Victor Dowling Equine Rescue Centre on 022 43218.


Smokey is a rising four-year-old Connemara cross pony. Measuring 13hh, this grey has been broken and would make a terrific all-rounder for some lucky family.

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The ISPCA describes him as a very sweet pony with a great temperament.


Sansa is a six-year-old bay sport horse mare. She has a wonderful temperament and is a good mover.

She is easy to shoe and handle and, at 16hh, would make a beautiful riding horse.


Grey Vickie is one of a number of quality sport horse mares at the ISPCA's Victor Dowling rescue centre in Mallow, Co Cork.

Rising three years old, Vickie is out of a very nice sport horse mare and should mature to at least 15.3hh-16hh.


Black mare Ivy was rescued by the ISPCA three years ago, along with her mother.

Both were in shocking condition and sadly her mother did not make it. Ivy is currently being trained with a view to making a nice riding horse out of her.

She is in the best of health and desperately looking for a home to call her own.


Shetland-cross Boo is a charming and cheeky chappie. Almost a year old, he is expected to reach 10hh and would make a wonderful pet and companion in the right home. He is still a little timid around people.


Rising four years old, Cleo is a 14hh cob cross mare that should make a wonderful family pony. Given her age, Cleo will need to be brought on and her training continued. She has a great personality and, in the right hands, will make a smashing pony.


Thoroughbred mare Shakira was rescued from appalling conditions by the ISPCA. After months of recovery, she moved into intensive training at Royal County Equine and is now riding well.

The eight-year-old mare is easy to catch, lead and enjoys being groomed. It is very important that she goes to an experienced home as she is sensitive and energetic.


Standing at 15.2hh, Ethel is a dark brown sport horse type mare. Rising four years old, she has a very good temperament and would make a really nice riding club type horse.

Irish Independent