Thanks to the kindness of the animal lovers at Harlequin Stables, 12 horses and ponies will be having a much nicer Christmas season this year.
Laura Anderson and her family rescued the animals from some dodgy situations across Western Canada, and are hoping for the public’s help in ensuring they continue to live cruelty-free lives.
To showcase their work, Harlequin Stables will be holding a Santa pony display in their barn on 128 Avenue in Maple Ridge.
The star of the display will be a handsome, golden-haired pony named Jonny, who was the first animal the stable rescued this year.
“Since there are no mall Santas this year, Jonny has put on his red coat and is offering COVID-friendly photos,” said Anderson, “Everything will be completely safe and will follow physical distancing requirements.”
The display began on the first weekend in December and will continue until Christmas Eve (Dec. 24).
Anderson said on the first day, little Jonny raised enough money to buy two months of hay for him and his rescued friends.
All proceeds will be going towards the care of their recovering animals, who need all the care they can get.
“We take the ones that nobody else wants,” Anderson said.
“We take the un-handled, the pregnant, the starved, and the feral, and we rehab them.”
The horse trainer brought up Jonny as an example.
“When we got him through an organization that rescues horses in Alberta, we couldn’t even touch him,” she said.
“He had been tied to a post, and couldn’t see out of one eye.”
Two other ponies were saved from being slaughtered for their meat.
“They were in terrible condition when we rescued them,” Anderson said. “They were both emaciated, both of them were pregnant, and they had never been looked after.”
“Now you can handle them, and one of them will be in the Santa photos as well.”
The stables care for thoroughbred race horses, show horses and everything in between, but pride themselves on their rescue program.
“A lot of the horses we use for our riding lessons are actually rescues,” she said.
“They come to us in the worst condition possible, and we rehab them, and give them a purpose.”