Animals do their bit for charity

READY TO GO: Youngsters prepare to show off their decorated ponies.
READY TO GO: Youngsters prepare to show off their decorated ponies.

Ponies trotted around in fancy dress and dogs bounded over hurdles as visitors flocked to two charity events at the weekend.

At Twinstead Riding School ponies were kitted out in pink attire as the school held its annual show for Breakthrough Breast Cancer on Sunday.

While in Leavenheath animal lovers were out in force to support the Sesaw fete and dog agility show.

Verity Stebbing, owner of Twinstead Riding School in Pebmarsh Road, said 27 ponies had been involved in the day and more than £700 raised for charity.

“There were more than 100 spectators and the weather was lovely,” she said.

“The children decorated the ponies themselves and they had been planning the designs for weeks, so there was high excitement and much secrecy surrounding the decorations.”

The event, which was running for the sixth year, included stalls where youngsters could guess the member of sweets in a jar, and the weight of a foal and take part in a treasure hunt.

There was also the chance to win a rosette for the pinkest pony.

“When we started we would just put a pink ribbon on the horses, but it has become full blown fancy dress,” Mrs Stebbing added.

At Sesaw animal rescue centre in Stoke Road on Sunday around 700 fete goers took part in games, watched agility displays and even got the opportunity to have a go themselves.

“The day was very well attended and there was a very nice atmosphere,” said charity volunteer Pat Ferdinando. “Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the public were very supportive.”

Julie Thompson, from Stanstead, who has multiple sclerosis and regularly competes in dog shows on her mobility scooter with pet Dodger, was among those displaying her skills. A total of £3,500 was raised.