Jasper really is quite an amazing pony – from rescue to Champion Working Hunter Pony and TV Celebrity! In 2004 he was chosen as the BSPS Pony Personality of the year and has appeared on TV News several times including appearances in Channel 4’s Pet Rescue and Carlton TV’s documentary Whose Little Pony. Although now retired from showing, Jasper is still busy raising money for SPEAR as a thank you for giving him a happy and fulfilled life – to date his fund has raised over £30,000.
As a yearling colt Jasper was carried from a cold, wet, muddy field by a Veterinary Surgeon and two RSPCA officers as he was too weak to stand or walk. He was taken to SPEAR where he was carried into a stable and given 24 hour intensive veterinary and nursing care. It was doubtful that he would survive.
For six weeks he was turned every two hours and lifted to his feet every four hours, day and night. He had liver and kidney failure, was severely anaemic and dehydrated and had an acute infection. His face and body were covered with sores and infected with lice. The skin on his front legs and hip had broken down and for 8 weeks had to be dressed with sterile dressings. Very slowly over the coming months Jasper began to improve and became the lovely pony he was always meant to be.
At three years old, Jasper was referred to the large animal hospital at Liverpool University where he successfully underwent major abdominal surgery. After his recovery he went to Karen’s yard to be broken-in and ridden and has remained at Karen’s ever since, returning to SPEAR for Open Days. Jasper surprised us all by having natural jumping ability so we introduced him to Cradle Stakes classes which he took to ‘like a duck to water’ and won at shows throughout the country. At the British Show Pony Championships in 2004, he amazed us all by winning the Novice Nursery Stakes and being well placed in all Cradle Stakes classes with his rider Ashleigh Flear. As a fitting gesture to a brave little pony he was chosen as BSPS Pony Personality of the Year 2004. Ashleigh Flear-O’Rourke competed successfully on Jasper until 2005 when she became too old for Cradle Stakes classes.
The following year Phoebe Cashmore succesfully took over the ride. At the British Show Pony Society Championships held at Arena UK, Grantham in August, Jasper and Phoebe were well placed in all six Cradle Stakes classes. Jasper jumped approximately 100 fences during four days and didn’t knock down or refuse any jump – quite an achievement! This made him the most overall consistent Cradle Stakes Pony and he and Phoebe were invited to the Saturday Evening Performance where he was presented with the ‘Cefn Charmer Trophy’ and sash. He made the most of the opportunity to show off under the spotlight and gave a lovely gallop when he left the arena! As a climax to a wonderful year, Jasper was the overall winner of the Cradle Stakes, became Champion Working Hunter Pony and the Supreme Champion of Area 6 of the British Show Pony Society. As a result he was awarded the Albert Bates Memorial Rose Bowl for the second year running.
Jasper, now a veteran pony, retired from showing in 2010 and now spends his days chilling out in the field with his friends Stan and Danny instead of travelling around the country! Jasper won all he could in the classes in which he competed so it felt only right to retire him while he was still at the top. He is now “resting on his laurels” so to speak! Although we are sure Jasper misses the shows, especially the jumping which he loved, he has found a new hobby called “mud wrestling” especially rubbing his face in it! If it’s not muddy enough for his liking he gets up and digs up more mud with his feet before he rolls again! Jasper also became a popular addition to the Adoption Programme. He loves meeting and greeting people at Open Days and puts such an effort into being nice to everyone that by the end of the day he likes nothing better than to go back into his field to graze and mud wrestle!