An elderly horse, suffering from rain scald and seriously underweight, has been admitted to The Blue Cross equine welfare centre in Staffordshire for specialist rehabilitation.

Wicka, who is estimated to be around 20 years old, was found in a very underweight condition and suffering from rain scald – a painful bacterial skin condition caused by prolonged exposure to severe wet weather, without shelter.

Wicka was rescued by the Blue Cross

Wicka was purchased by an animal lover, who had seen the horse’s obvious state of neglect as he passed his paddock by the side of the road and with the support of the RSPCA, he signed Wicka over to The Blue Cross.

Wicka was immediately taken to the charity’s rehabilitation centre at Rolleston in Staffordshire, where he is now under the specialist care of the centre’s dedicated grooms.

He has been examined thoroughly by the centre vet who has prescribed treatment for his rain scald and has devised a diet and exercise regime designed to allow Wicka to build weight and condition slowly and safely.

Rolleston centre’s head groom Catherine Read said: “We have all fallen for Wicka because he is such a lovely, gentle horse, which is amazing considering how he has suffered. In time we hope he will make a full recovery and will be rehomed as a light hack or companion horse.

“His situation highlights the difficult circumstances faced by well-meaning but inexperienced owners who lack the knowledge, practical skills and facilities to help a horse in this condition. Fortunately, The Blue Cross has the resources and expertise to provide the intensive day-to-day care that Wicka needs to regain his health.”