An equine rescue charity will be able to offer neglected horses and ponies first-rate medical support, thanks to a brand new intensive care unit (ICU).

The facility at Bransby Horses in Lincolnshire has been funded by legacies, donations and an appeal and cost in the region of £175,000.

The ICU has been specially adapted to help care for the desperate equines that Bransby has had pass through its doors — many of whom require help to stand as they are too weak.

The new unit includes stables with padded walls and rubber floors, which are cushioned for horses prone to collapse.

Each stable also has a hoist for lifting horses and supporting them to stand — before the ICU was built, horses that were unable to support their own weight had to be lifted by hand.

“This required six or more members of staff and carried substantial risk of injury or strain for the staff involved,” said a spokesman for Bransby.

“Without an independent hoist for support, these frail horses were also at risk of injuries from falling against the breeze block walls, which were present in the stables used previously.”

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The facility’s location on the charity’s quarantine yard also enables staff to maintain strict biosecurity measures and help prevent the spread of disease. The new boxes are sealed, making them easy to wash down and disinfect.

In 2016, Bransby rescued 144 horses, ponies and donkeys, all of which were initially cared for on the quarantine yard. The ICU will enable Bransby Horses to provide the “best possible support” for new arrivals.

The build was made possible thanks to a £126,886 legacy donation from Miss Joan Muriel Lawford, a £1,000 legacy donation from Anne Isabella Thornes, appeal donations totalling £1,626 and £45,000 of further charity donations.

“The charity would like to thank supporters for making this development possible,” the spokesman added.

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