Adopt a pony for less than a bag of carrots per week

PUBLISHED: 09:59 06 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:52 09 April 2020

Belle The Belgian Draft

Belle The Belgian Draft


Gloucestershire residents can adopt a horse, pony or donkey from Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre

Overdale Equestrian Centre is seeking support to keep their horses fed and healthy, as all lessons and courses have now ceased and this is their primary source of income. See the JustGiving page for more information.

Members of the public who have always dreamt of owning their own horse, pony or donkey can now adopt a four-legged friend thanks to a clever initiative that has been launched at Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre.

The award-winning riding stables and pony club has introduced a new scheme where horse lovers across the county can sponsor an animal from the centre for just £5 per month – less than the cost of buying a bag of organic carrots each week.

Donkeys available for adoptionDonkeys available for adoption

The Centre, which celebrated its milestone 21st birthday on 1st April, came up with the novel idea to keep its residents in good care after losing its tourist trade in the coronavirus crisis. Due to the lockdown, no riders are currently visiting the centre.

By adopting an animal from BVEC, members of the public will be supporting a worthy local cause. The Centre, which is home to over 78 animals, including horses, goats, pigs, chickens, cats, dogs, sheep and their lambs, and one alpaca, hosts charity initiatives that benefit the community. This includes the Cotswold Riding Opportunities Project (CROP), which uses interaction with animals to encourage children to be more active and to grow in confidence.

Ella the pony - available for adoptionElla the pony - available for adoption

Poppy Fountain, a horse owner at the Centre who is also leading the initiative, said: “It’s an incredibly tough time for everyone, but particularly businesses that rely on tourism to keep going. The welfare of the animals is always the top priority and, while many businesses can close their doors, the Centre still needs funds to care for them. By sponsoring a pony, the public will be offering a huge amount of support to the centre. Everyone who adopts will be kept updated on their animal’s life. It’s something a bit different that we hope will also make them smile while we’re all staying at home.”

Residents have a tough decision to make as there are six incredibly sweet-natured animals to choose from. Belle the Belgian Draft, a relatively new resident to Bourton Vale, is available to sponsor, as are Gladys and Gertie, the Centre’s two donkeys. Ella, Puzzle and Rosie, three cheeky ponies, are also available to adopt.

Each sponsor will receive a digital photo of their chosen horse, pony or donkey and official adoption certificate. Everyone will receive newsletters with updates on their animals’ daily life. Residents can also meet their adopted pet in person, once the lockdown period has ended.

Poppy Fountain concludes: “We’ve already had so much interest in people wanting to adopt and are thankful to everyone who has supported the Centre this far. We’re incredibly lucky to live in such a caring community. We want to keep going so that we can continue to offer horse riding lessons and animal experiences to everyone in the future.”

Gladys the donkey - available for adoptionGladys the donkey - available for adoption

To find out more about adopting an animal from Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre, please visit

Puzzle the pony - available for adoptionPuzzle the pony - available for adoption

Rosie - available for adoptionRosie - available for adoption

Latest from the Cotswold Life