Polo pony swept away in Auckland floods finds her own way home
A 20-year-old polo pony last seen swimming for her life in floodwaters two weeks ago has been found alive and well.
The bay thoroughbred mare called Voice, and her chestnut paddock mate Lottie, were swept downstream after torrential rain unleased on the south Auckland suburb of Clevedon on March 8.
While Lottie was rescued from chest-height water later that evening, Voice was nowhere to be seen.
Then on Tuesday, caked in river sand, Voice was spotted walking down the middle of North Rd, Clevedon just metres from the spot she'd last been seen trying to stay afloat.
Liz Currie, who cares for the horses, said she had no idea where the mare had been for the last two weeks.
"Where she came from, I have no idea, because we've scoured every part of that river over and over again."
She said there were various sightings of the retired polo pony walking down the middle of the main road on Tuesday, but no-one could pinpoint where her journey home started.
Currie said she never gave up hope that Voice had somehow managed to swim to high ground and scramble into someone's paddock.
The fact a cow had washed out to an island during the storm, and survived, gave her faith that Voice could too.
"She's obviously been stuck on a bank somewhere because she was a real mess," Currie said.
"I've given her a bath to try and get some of the mud and that off her, but it's all river sand.
"She's been stuck quite deep because it's all up under her belly, through her tail."
Currie said the pony is a "bit feisty" which is probably how she survived her ordeal.
Other than a few scratches, she's remarkably free of any injuries.
"[But] she is quite thin. She's obviously been somewhere with no food. She's certainly needing a bit of care now."
Currie said since the "very special" mare went missing, people from near and far had offered to help find her and she was very grateful for their support.
"We've had lots of happy tears. It's quite unbelievable.
"I think she might have just earned herself a very long retirement."