The Story of Lucky

We tell this story because this little pony is why a small sanctuary on Dartmoor became a well known charity in the 1980's and then in the 1990's  and then became a home to UK Police horses with nowhere else to go and why we are still here today.


Lucky, arrived at The Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary in 1982 aged 4 months.  He died in 2014 at the age of 32 - a very special little pony who didn't look any different from the hundreds of others that live on the moors today.   But his life story is why the Sanctuary is still here today. 


He was hand picked out of many ponies on a rainy day in October 1982 by a young man named Nigel Nelson who was a roving reporter for the Sunday Mirror at the time, now he is the longest serving political editor and can be seen reviewing the papers on Sky News and BBC News.  He met Sylvia the founder of the Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary at the 'Drift Sale', this is where the farmers push their stock of Dartmoor horses and ponies down from the moors and into and between them rescued this little chap from the horrors of being butchered for horse meat. 


His story was featured in the Sunday Mirror and the readers were asked to name this little pony.  Lucky was picked and Lucky he was.  The Sunday Mirror continued to feature his story for a year or so, coming back at Christmas and taking lots of pictures with him beside a tree with presents from his adoring public.


Money was sent in from the public to help feed him, but also this enabled Sylvia to go to the sales for many years after and save countless more little ponies and foals like Lucky and find them loving kind foster homes.

Kind supporters of Lucky to this day, still send money and visit the sanctuary when they can and remember the DHAPS in their will, which has enabled the sanctuary to continue to save hundreds of horses, ponies and the odd donkey and give them a safe and loving home for the rest of their days.  RIP Lucky

Without your help and support, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue to do what we do. To rescue and rehabilitate horses, ponies and donkeys and offer visits to those members of our community that really benefit from time spent with our animals. 

Your generosity makes this possible. Please help us to help them

Thank you from us all.


Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary

The Old Barn, Manaton, Newton Abbot

Devon TQ13 9UW

Tel:  0044 (0)16472 21209


Registered Charity No:  280784

We are proud to be
members of the NEWC