A Matter of Open Gates, Inattentive Walkers, and Eager Ponies

Imagine strolling through nature, taking in the fresh air, and enjoying the peace and quiet. Suddenly, you spot a sight you will never forget- a pony stuck in a cattle grid. While the prospect may sound humorous, it is, in reality, a dangerous scenario that highlights the importance of respecting the Countryside Code. This perilous adventure unfolded after inattentive walkers left a gate open. Let's unravel the story.

A Pony's Tricky Predicament

On 5 March, 21-year-old Shetland pony Teifi found himself in a challenging spot. He was trapped in a cattle grid, which was not part of his usual morning plans. The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service were alerted, and the Crickhowell, Talgarth, and Pontardawe crews were dispatched to the location at 7.32 am.

The priority was to keep Teifi calm during the rescue operation. To this end, a vet on-site sedated Teifi. The fire and rescue crews used road traffic collision and animal rescue equipment to extricate the troubled pony from the cattle grid. Their mission lasted until after 11am. Quite the ordeal for both Teifi and his rescuers!

Relief and Gratitude: Teifi's Happy Ending

Teifi's owner, Beth Watkins, expressed immense gratitude for the fire and rescue service's concerted efforts. She lauded their careful planning and utmost regard for Teifi's wellbeing throughout the incident. Thankfully, Teifi is recovering well from his ordeal, and his newfound fame has made him quite popular in his community!

A Lesson in Countryside Etiquette

The unfortunate incident prompted renewed calls to adhere to the UK Government's Countryside Code. The Code recommends that visitors leave gates and properties as they find them and follow instructions on signs. According to the fire service spokesman, the gate through which Teifi accessed the cattle grid was left open by walkers passing through the farm where he resides.

Remember, gates may be left open or closed by farmers and landowners for various reasons, such as preventing animals from straying or permitting access to food and water. Thus, it's crucial not to interfere with the setup unless there are clear instructions to do so.

Final Thoughts: Keeping our Countryside Safe

Hiking through the countryside is a therapeutic experience that lets us escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But, as we revel in nature's lap, it's essential to respect the rules and keep our countryside safe for everyone, including our equine friends. A little consideration can go a long way in preventing incidents like that of Teifi.


Public warned as pony found stuck in the cattle grid after walkers left gate open - Eleanor Jones via Horse & Hound