Foal found collapsed, emaciated and covered in maggots stands Rescue Champion at the Royal Norfolk Show

Redwings is celebrating after a foal who came into the charity’s care eleven years ago, emaciated and with a maggot infested wound to his leg and hoof, went overall Champion in the Rescue classes at the Royal Norfolk Show yesterday (Thursday 27th June).

Matty was found collapsed in a field in 2013, and the woman who discovered him called Redwings for help. He was severely dehydrated and covered in lice and sores.

He made a full recovery at Redwings and now lives in a home with Redwings Guardian Sarah – also one of the charity’s vets.

Six Redwings horses and ponies in total competed in this year’s Rescue classes, and Redwings welfare vet Nicola Berryman, who watched the class ringside with her family, was present at each of their rescues.

Nicola said: “To see them all do so well has made me so incredibly proud. I remember all their rescues, but Matty’s story does stick in my mind, and it was me who introduced Sarah to Matty. It was Sarah’s first day working at Redwings, and he was a tiny and weak young foal. Sarah fell absolutely in love and then patiently waited to rehome him when he was older – and the rest, as they say, is history!”

Listen to Matty’s story on our Sounds of the Sanctuary podcast here.

Reserve Champion also went to a rehomed Redwings horse – Redwings Edward who lives with his Guardian Claire.

In a brilliant day for Redwings, who are the largest horse welfare charity in the UK, Redwings Jerome and Guardian Milly took 2nd place in the In-Hand Rescue class after Matty came in 1st place, and Redwings Honey and Guardian Elli-May went 2nd in the Veteran Rescue class behind Edward. Redwings Yarn and Redwings Destiny, who had been attending the Show’s Rescue Village to help promote rehoming a rescued horse, placed 4th and 5th in the In-Hand class respectively.

Photographs from the event are available to download here. 

Redwings CEO Lynn Cutress said: “I feel such incredible pride on days like today.

“These horses came to us from such terrible backgrounds, some of them in utterly awful condition like Matty.

“To see them as they are today, well, it’s like a dream and the reason we do the hard work that we do.

“Their Guardians of course deserve so much credit, and it’s wonderful to see the love they have for their Guardian horses.”

To find out more about rehoming a horse from Redwings, visit

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published