Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shorty and some much needed light relief

This from the UK Daily Mail today:
Get Shorty! The tiny pony who keeps sparking 999 calls ... because people think she's stuck in the mud!
For a tiny pony, Shorty is certainly causing a lot of bother. Her legs are so short that when she's standing on a marshy riverbank passers-by keep thinking she's sinking in mud and then call 999.
This has meant that fire crews have been called out four times now to 'rescue' her and led to Mayflower getting the Shorty moniker from locals.
On the last occasion, animal rescue expert Anton Phillips was dispatched to a salt marsh beside the River Test in Southampton, Hants, with 12 other firefighters, in two fire engines together Mr Phillips, of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'Every time we get there we can see very quickly what we were dealing with - a pony with short legs that looks like a dwarf.
'The pony is oddly shaped but it is fit and healthy and there is no reason to worry about it.
'From 200 yards away it does look like the pony is trapped in the mud, especially when it is stood next to New Forest ponies which are about twice as tall.'
He added: 'Obviously it's not the pony's fault for being so short but it probably needs fencing in to stop us getting called out.
'There is a cost implication to consider and callouts like this are a big expense.'
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service estimates that each time a fire engine goes out it costs at least £251.
Mr Phillips, 50, said the pony must have inherited its unusual proportions from two different breeds.
'It looks like it has a Shetland's little legs and a New Forest pony's long body', he said.
However, owner Sandra Whitcher today insisted Mayflower is a pure-bred 12-year-old Shetland.
She said: 'People are always phoning up and saying Mayflower has got stuck in mud when she's perfectly OK - she's just got short legs.
'We have had animal rescuers, the police and the fire brigade up here. When they get here Mayflower sees them and just runs off so they realise she's not stuck at all.
'We might have to put up a sign so passing motorists know the horse is not stuck.'
But she added: 'The only problem is that one day she might actually get stuck and then the fire brigade won't turn up.'
Shetland ponies, known for their short legs, typically grow to between 2ft 4in and 3ft 6in tall.
New Forest ponies are larger, tending to be between 4ft and 4ft 10in, and more normally proportioned.with a specialist lifting vehicle.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nadine,

I was wondering where you got your picture of Mayflower the pony from? I am looking to get a hold of one of her.



Nadine Porter said...

Try for further information.
Sorry should have posted that tag with the story.