Source: news release


Martin Clunes has adopted two ponies from the RSPCA after he responded to our Amersham Horses Rehoming Appeal, one of the biggest in RSPCA history.

The actor and his wife Philippa, who work together to make Doc Martin for ITV, heard about last year’s nationwide appeal to find new homes for the horses and ponies in our care, including those rescued from appalling conditions at Spindle Farm in Amersham.

Being experienced horse owners, they were keen to provide the permanent, loving homes these horses needed. After passing the necessary home checks, Martin and Philippa took home mini Shetland pony Oliver and New Forest pony Connor.


Oliver and Connor

Oliver and Connor were not part of the Amersham rescue, but came into our care after being signed over to us by their owner during an investigation into their neglect. They had not had the best start in life and were in a poor condition so were nursed back to health before staff searched for new owners.

As they are both young ponies, it will be around two years until they can be ridden. The Clunes family intend to keep Oliver as a companion for their other Shetlands. They plan to have Connor as a riding pony for their daughter Emily.

Watch a short video of Martin and Phillipa and their newly rehomed horses (scroll down the page to the video), Oliver and Connor.


Martin said:

When they first came to us they were quite scared, but it’s been great to see them get their confidence back and to see them progress.

Taking on a horse is a huge commitment so people need to carefully consider their circumstances before bringing one home.

Philippa added:

Rehoming an animal is such a great thing to do. It’s a great feeling to know that you have helped a pony or horse who really needed it.

About the Amersham horses

The Amersham Horse Rehoming Appeal was a huge success. More than 1,500 people contacted us who were interested in rehoming a horse. All the 37 Amersham horses, as well as 80 others in our care, found loving new homes.

More than 100 horses, donkeys and ponies were rescued from appalling conditions at Spindle Farm in January 2008. Along with horse charities Redwings, The Horse Trust and World Horse Welfare, the animals were nursed back to health and happiness before new homes were sought last June.

RSPCA equine rehoming officer Sally Learoyd said:

We were absolutely thrilled that so many people showed a genuine interest in rehoming horses in our care - the response to the appeal was fantastic.

We were especially delighted that The Clunes family took on two youngsters as they are a real commitment and they’re making a great investment in the future of these ponies.

Whilst many of the horses and ponies have now been given a second chance, there are a lot more who still need new owners. We would love to hear from people who have the time and knowledge to care for them.


Rehome a horse from us

There are still hundreds of horses and ponies in our care, throughout England and Wales, who desperately need new owners to come forward. They all came into our care after being rescued by inspectors, found abandoned or handed over by owners who could no longer look after them.

If you think you could commit to horse ownership and offer a permanent loving home to one of the horses in our care browse our horses and ponies rehoming pages.

Support our ongoing work

Without the support of people like you we would not be able to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals like these. Please support our ongoing animal welfare work, make an online donation today.

Thank you.


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