Lily and Tracey Stewart

 Lily with Tracey Stewart at Equine Rehab Center near Kennett Square, Pa.

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. - Lily, the paintball riddled riddled pony whose rescue made world headlines, was formally handed over to one of her new owners, Tracey Stewart, today at the Equine Rehab Center in southern Chester County, Pa.

Lily was adopted by Stewart and her husband, the former “Daily Show” host, Jon Stewart. The couple, who are launching their own branch of the national Farm Sanctuary network, will care for and retire Lily on their Middletown, New Jersey farm.

“We’re really happy,” said a beaming Tracey Stewart as she held Lily. “We’ve met Lily and she’s the sweetest horse I’ve ever met. . . . She’s going to have a beautiful life.”

The Stewarts are also taking another inmate of the rehab center, a horse named Anita who had become Lily’s friend and barn and pasture mate.

Most of the region’s major television and newspaper outlets were at the formal handing over at the small farm where Lily was rehabbing after she was treated for her serious injuries at nearby New Bolton Center.

Lily was found March 14 by Kelly Smith, director of Omega Horse Rescue in Airville, Pa., who took her to New Bolton.

After a Lancaster County, Pa. district attorney investigation, Phillip Price of East Providence, Rhode Island, was convicted last month of animal cruelty and other charges for transporting Lily to the New Holland Sales Stable and dumping her there. But the investigation into how she was injured and who was responsible appears to have stalled because of interstate jurisdictional problems.

Watch for updates on this site and a fuller story in Mid-Atlantic Horse’s June print edition.