EQUINE welfare is a topic close to the hearts of The Irish Field readers, and this lovely story was brought to Pony Tales’ attention by Dave Stanley this week.

Niamh Murphy, the captain of the Castle Hill team, was riding a rescue pony Hopeful Scope in the AIRC team show jumping challenge at Dublin Horse Show on Sunday.

Claire Halpenny of the Railings Riding School in Ardee relates: “Once upon a time, a little funny filly was born. Her mother Summer was rescued just days before. I watched her stagger to her feet and wished her a wonderful life. My wish came true. From early on, Bethan and Nadine started to try to tame this wildling, and they did great work. ‘Hope’ was never going to be a riding school pony so I was resigned to let her live her wild life with the herd.

“Then Niamh happened…. I have never seen a more compatible pair. I swear they know what the other one is thinking. It wasn’t an easy job to convince ‘Hope’ that farriers, vets and horse boxes weren’t monsters. But Niamh did it. I could go on but Niamh I hope you know how happy you and your mighty mare have made me. Everyone at The Railings is so proud that Hope and Niamh, with Castle Hill Riding Club, competed at the RDS Horse Show.”

Well done everyone involved in the journey of ‘Hope’ all the way from her rescue days right up to competing at Ireland’s premier horse show!