AS Wimbledon gets underway, three rescue ponies who were abandoned and found in a tennis court are looking for their perfect (game, set and) match.

The trio - Andre, Pancho and Rafael - were left to run loose in a park in Bishop Auckland at the end of last year, evading capture for more than one week before they were finally caught.

Quick-thinking residents served up some tasty hay in the local tennis courts and they safely closed the doors to confine the trio before calling the RSPCA and British Horse Society.

Fondly named the ‘Tennis Court Trio’, the ponies were taken in by the RSPCA, but no owners ever came forward. Now they have taken to a mock-up tennis court in the hope of finding new homes. The three colts, named after tennis superstars Andre Agassi, Pancho Gonzales and Rafael Nadal, have been enjoying life in the care of the charity for six months, but staff hope that with the excitement of Wimbledon, the cheeky trio will find ‘love all.’

RSPCA equine rehoming officer Jacqui Wilson said: “Andre, Pancho and Rafael are really friendly young colts who - like their namesakes - have a glittering future ahead of them.We hope their antics on the tennis court will lead to finding their perfect game, set and match.

“The boys are around one year old, and will be approximately 13hh when they are fully grown so potentially could make really smart children’s riding ponies, and they don’t need to be rehomed together.We’d ideally like someone to foster them for a time until they are old enough for us to castrate them, then if they have fallen in love, they would be able to apply to fully adopt them.”

The RSCPA’s emergency line received more than 80 calls a day about loose horses last year and took in 980 - the highest number in four years.

  • Anyone who can offer Andre, Pancho and Rafael a home should visit or contact or call 0300-1238877