A Clydesdale mare attacked in her field last Saturday night (9 May) is recovering from major surgery to remove a two-and-a-half feet long sharp stake.
Skye, a 16.1hh eight-year-old blue roan mare is owned by Annie Rose, who runs Cumbrian Heavy Horses.
“I thought she’d been kicked as she had blood on her hind legs when she came in for her breakfast on Sunday morning,” she told H&H.
“But when I lifted up the tail flap on her rug, I saw the end of a 2in diameter stake sticking out of her vulva.”
The vet and police were called and Skye was taken in a trailer to Frame and Swift equine practice in Penrith for an emergency operation.
“Skye was very lucky the stake didn’t hit any of her blood vessels, otherwise she would have bled to death slowly in the night,” believes Mrs Rose.
The mare is making an incredible recovery, is eating well and walking about in a small paddock.
“The vets think that providing there are no further complications there is every chance she will make a full recovery, but it’s going to be a long time before she is back into work,” said Mrs Rose.
The two other mares and a gelding who were out with Skye the night of the attack were not harmed, but are “very jumpy at the moment”.
Skye was used for lessons, hacks, beach rides and by children with learning disabilities from a local school. She is one of 17 horses kept at the BHS-approved riding centre in the Whicham Valley, in the Lake District National Park.
Mrs Rose only moved to her new base at Baystone Bank Farm in February.
She said the attack had left her “scared for her horses and any other animals this psycho chooses to target”.
RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy said: “This is an extremely distressing incident and a sickening attack which has left this poor mare in a bad state and with horrific internal injuries.
“The stick has been removed by vets. Thankfully the horse is still alive and she is now recovering from her ordeal.
“We would urge anyone with information as to what happened in this attack to contact the police or the RSPCA as a matter of urgency on our cruelty hotline on 0300 123 4999.”