Posted: 16th November 2020 | Back to news feed




Best-selling novelist Elly Griffiths will be helping to judge a fun festive online horse and pet show launched by Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

Elly, author of the hugely popular Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries and long-term Redwings supporter, will be casting her eye over entries to a very special set of classes which give owners the opportunity to write a short story about how their animals have helped put a smile on their faces during this difficult year.

This follows the success of Redwings’ first ever online show in May which attracted more than 600 entries from across the country and raised over £2,200 for the charity after it was forced to cancel its annual fundraising horse show due to the coronavirus lockdown – and it’s hoped even more supporters (two and four-legged) will join in this time!

The Redwings Christmas Show Online offers a variety of festive-themed classes, including ‘Christmas Cracker’ (Handsomest Gelding) and ‘Mare-y Christmas’ (Prettiest Mare) in the horse classes, and ‘Santa Paws’ (Most Dashing Dog) and ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ (Best Seasonal Photo) in the dog classes.

All animals are welcome to compete in the pet classes, from cats to rabbits, from hamsters to tortoises – the more the merrier! Classes include ‘Under the Mistletoe’ (Cuddliest Pet Photo), ‘Best ‘Elfie’ (Best Selfie with your Pet) and ‘Santa’s Naughty and Nice List’ challenging all to capture an image to prove their pet is the cheekiest or most angelic!

There are also new ‘Happy Tails of 2020’ classes, to be judged by Elly Griffiths, where owners of all ages can pay tribute to the ways their pets have raised their spirits or helped them throughout the challenges of this year.

Show organiser Jude Palmer said: “We were blown away by the support shown to our first online show in the spring. Since then, we’ve had many people ask us to repeat it and, as we now unfortunately find ourselves in the middle of a second lockdown, it seemed like the perfect time to launch a new festive version of the show which we hope will put a big smile on everyone’s faces in the run-up to Christmas.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Elly Griffiths, as well as our other judges from Equilibrium Products, Pooch’s Dog Treats and Joules, for donating their time to help us pick our winners! As a charity 100% funded by donations, this year has been incredibly challenging for us, so every penny raised through the show will go a long way to supporting our rescued horses and donkeys this Christmas and give us a wonderful boost as we head into the New Year.”

Horse Classes - Judged by Clare from Equilibrium


1. Christmas Cracker - Handsomest Gelding (Photo)

2. Mare-y Christmas - Prettiest Mare (Photo)

3. Muddiest Monster - Best Muddy Photo (Photo)

• Mud, mud glorious mud!

4. Winter Woollies (Photo)

• Show off your horses’ winter coats - we love the fluff!

5. Best in Show-Ho-Ho - Best Turnout (Photo)

Dog Classes – Judged by Liz and Sarah from Pooch’s Dog Treats!


6. Santa Paws - Most Dashing Dog (Photo)

7. Jingle Belles - Prettiest Girl (Photo)

8. Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Best Seasonal Photo (Photo)

Pet Classes Open to all - horses and dogs, plus cats, rabbits, hamsters, chicken, tortoises - the more the merrier!


9. Under the Mistletoe - Best Cuddling Photo (Photo)

• Let’s see you and your pets all loved up!

10. Santa’s Little Helper - Most Festive Pet (Photo)

• Show us how your pet has been helping you get into the festive spirit!

11. The Night Before Christmas… - Best Sleeping Pet (Photo)

• As the poem says, ‘not a creature was stirring’!

12. Best ‘Elfie - Best Selfie (Photo)

• Let us see your best selfies with your pet!

13. Santa’s Naughty or Nice List - Cheekiest Pet or Most Angelic Pet (Photo)

• Is your pet a mischievous elf or a Christmas angel? Our judge will crown the top of the Naughty and Nice list!

14. Best Christmas Jumper - Pets only (Photo)

• Show us your pets in their best festive outfits!

15. Best Christmas Jumper - Pets and their owners (Photo)

• Your turn too! Show us you and your pets in your festive wear!

Happy Tails of 2020 - Judged by best-selling author Elly Griffiths

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but here at Redwings we know that our rescued horses (and our pets at home) have helped put a smile on our faces!

Submit a photo of your pet with up to 300 words in a short story or mini-essay about a time that your pet has made you smile or helped you this year!


16. Happy Tails of 2020 – Ages 10 and under

17. Happy Tails of 2020 – Ages 10 to 16

18. Happy Tails of 2020 – Ages 16+

19. Happy Tails of 2020 – Redwings Adoption Star Special

• No pet? No problem! We’d love to hear if you think your Redwings Adoption Star horse or donkey is the best!

Terms of show:

• This is a ‘fun’ show and open to all horses, dogs and pets – and humans! It is not associated with any breed or showing society rules. The judge’s decision is final.

• You must have permission to use the photo you enter – no watermarked photos will be accepted. Photo collages will also not be accepted.

• People must be over 18 or have the permission of a parent or guardian to take part.

• Entry fees must be received prior to the closing date and unpaid entries will be withdrawn from the show. If we have contacted you for additional information to accompany your entry, e.g. animal’s name, age, supporting text to go with your entry etc., and have not received a reply before the closing date, your entries will also be withdrawn.

• You must own or have permission from the owner of the animal you are submitting for the show.

• We strongly recommend that appropriate safety equipment should always be worn. Judges may look unfavourably on entries depicting behaviour they feel is unsafe. Images showing a mounted rider not wearing a suitable safety helmet will be disqualified

Entries to the Redwings Christmas Show Online will open on Monday 23rd November and close on Sunday 13th December.

Entries to the Redwings Christmas Show Online will cost a donation of £3 each and everyone will have until the end of Sunday 13th December to get their submissions in. All winners will be announced the following week.

For more information on how to enter and to see a full list of classes, visit

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