A planning application could see the end of Pagham Ponies.
That is the warning, and fear, of Nigel Mundy, who has spent the last decade caring for the animals currently in stables at Church Barton House, Horns Lane, which is the site of a bid for 89 dwellings (P/25/17/OUT).
“I can understand their side of it,” said Mr Mundy. “Because of the applications around it, it would have meant they were trapped and so the owners have decided to sell the house or sell to a developer, either way the ponies will be without a home.
“They are all rescue ponies and only two or three can be rehomed – after their training is finished – the rest are too old, on too many tablets or have too many issues.
“It is going to be a while before anything happens here apparently but I have been told we have to start thinking of rehoming them or getting rid of them.
“I can’t rehome a lot of them and it would mean many were destroyed and I am not going to get rid of them, that defeats the object of me rescuing them in the first place.
“They are a family, they are my family – they are all I have got – they should be together, they should be a herd. I had one in the yard for their hooves the other day and the rest stood by the gate and shouted until she came out again,” he added.
“I want to put the feelers out there and see if someone has land we could use.”
In particular, Mr Mundy is keen for a site which would enable the horses to be used for therapy purposes.
“I take some of the Shetlands to events and people love them,” he said.
“We had one girl who has autism and she was scared of horses. When we were at the Regis Centre last she came along and her mum thanked me for changing her life, now she just wants to cuddle them all the time.
“In the past we’ve had people come who suffer from depression and they’ve said they felt much better after a visit.
“If we lose this home we are stuffed, I don’t know anywhere else they can go,” added Mr Mundy.
“I would want somewhere they can be used for the purpose I intended them for, it is good for them and it is good for other people.”
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