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This is Rainbow. The oldest of the Wedgehill 3 who at some thirty plus years is old enough to know better. In her dotage she is not shy of feeling feisty trotting or even cantering up and down the fence line when she knows it is time to come in at the end of the day. Nor is she shy of playing 'the matriarch'. As mares do putting the two youngsters in their place with a swift nip or even a well aimed double barrel kick at one of the two geldings if they dare to enter her personal space without an invitation.
Or for fans of East Enders here in the UK, Rainbow is a reincarnation of Peggy Mitchell.
Bryn and Benney
Bryn, on left of picture, is a seven year old Welsh Section D gelding. If he was human and at school he would be the boy at the front of the class, always first putting his hand up to answer a question and never late with his homework. Always polite, never known to offend and a horse that wants to do well at everything he does. So much so he is off to private school early in the New Year.
Finally, we have Benney on the right of picture whom you have already met in November 17 when he strutted his stuff to music on a Sunday morning. For those of you not familiar with Benney he is a six year old New Forest pony. If he was human and at school he would be the one at the back of the class laughing and joking. A bit of a ringleader who although he likes to be cheeky he would be most offended if he ever actually hurt anyone.
And so dear readers that is the Wedgehill Three.
The Escape Route
Their escape plan early in December 2017 made the daring bid for freedom by James Garner, Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough in the Great Escape look like a picnic.
As well as being suspected of being the ringleader we feel that Benney's show name should be 'Hilts The Cooler King' after the character played by Steve McQueen as we understand this was not the first time he had escaped.
On the morning of the escape the Wedgehill Three were put out to graze in Lakeside Two. There is plenty of grass there. A few Canadian geese to chase off and plenty of water in the lake for them to drink. When the groom put them out the two boys had some coltish games while Rainbow went off to chew the grass. All was settled and the gate secure. So, the question to ask is 'Why?'.
When the groom came back at three in the afternoon to bring them in the gate was still locked, their head collars and lead ropes on the ground where she had left them earlier in the day but no Wedgehill Three in the paddock. Perhaps someone had already brought them in using other head collars, but no, their stables were empty. Mild panic and dryness in the mouth set in as the groom wondered where the horses had gone.
Walking, or even running in a mild panic, the groom retraced her steps from the stable block to the paddock and just happened to look along the track to see Rainbow peacefully grazing on a small triangle of grass about half a mile away. She grabbed the head collars and covered the distance to Rainbow at an Olympic final pace. Once she reached Rainbow the groom could then see Bryn and Benney ambling along the track leading away from the yard without a care in the world. Leaving Rainbow where she was the groom then went to catch the boys.
They all came in together as if nothing extraordinary had happened during their day.
Now, not wishing to pint any fingers of blame at any one individual pony we have our deepest suspicions that Benney was the leader of this escape as he ambling up the track a few yards ahead of Bryn.
Now they have worked out how to escape from Lakeside One they have all been confined to Lakeside Two. They are less likely to escape from this paddock via the lake as there is no shallow shoreline unlike Lakeside One where there is a shallow area just wide enough for the ponies to walk along and find freedom.
None of them suffered any side effects from their adventures and we have had to invest in some new fencing to run along the ends of the paddocks facing the lake just in case Benney attempts to be Hilts The Cooler King again.