We are open Wednesday - Sunday, from 10am - 4pm
Visit Us

Update On The Brigg Rescue

4th March 2022

You may recall our story on 25th February 2022 reporting on a welfare case in Brigg, Lincolnshire, where we rescued three donkeys and two Shetland ponies after their owner failed to meet their basic welfare needs.

Donkeys Fagin, Sikes and Dodger, along with Shetlands Twist and Oliver, are now settling well into life here at Bransby Horses, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

Named after characters from the Dicken’s novel, Oliver Twist, they arrived timid and nervous. Every equine required immediate foot treatment and had to be sedated for this because of their nervous disposition.

Following the emergency care they received on arrival, their individual health and wellbeing were assessed and tailored programmes were produced to meet their needs. All five were then slowly introduced to our current rescued residents.

Months of hard work

Over a series of months working hard to gain their trust, our teams are now able to perform routine checks with ease. Some were more accepting than others and have taken a little longer to come around to trusting their handlers. The hard work our teams undertake to get equines to a place where they can trust humans again cannot be underestimated.

Two of the donkeys were particularly wary on arrival and took months of persuasion in order for our teams to convince them they could relax when handled.

Oliver on arrival
Oliver today
Twist on arrival
Twist on arrival at Bransby Horses
Twist looking happier










Oliver and Twist needed a special weight loss programme that combined individual diet and exercise routines – the field they had lived in before didn’t allow ease of movement, causing health problems.

They’ve successfully lost weight following careful monitoring, diet and exercise, but still have a way to go. They’ve both made new friends in their new herds and have really taken a shine to our teams who look after them.

Doing the Donkey Work
Fagin on arrival










Fagin (pictured above left) was especially nervous on arrival and needed temporarily sedating for routine procedures. We have worked extensively with Fagin to develop his confidence over the months since his arrival and he’s come on leaps and bounds.

VC Yard Team Leader, Shell, said: “Fagin’s come a long way since he’s been in our care and no longer needs sedation. Our hard work to earn his trust has paid off and he now enjoys a chest scratch from the team whenever he can get them.”

Fagin is buddied up with confident Sponsorship Star, Nipper, whom Fagin looks to for guidance.

Fagin today
Dodger and Sikes grazing at Bransby Horses








Dodger and Sikes live with Fagin and our younger donkey herd. Our teams have worked with the farrier to reassure both donkeys that they’re in good hands and are getting used to their regular pedicure treatments.

Dodger has had some temporary health concerns during his time with us but now appears happy and healthy.

Rachel Jenkinson, our Welfare Manager who was involved in their rescue, said: “The complex needs of donkeys and ponies are completely different and were not being met in the mixed group environment where we found them in. They are now receiving the individual care they require and are flourishing after months of hard work by our teams.”

Thank you for your support, without you these animals would not have received the care and attention they so desperately needed and deserved.


can you identify how an equine is behaving? Take our quiz