An old mare who was found injured, emaciated and being beaten by thugs has been named Beauty as “she’s surely never been told she’s beautiful”.

Police in San Javier, southern Spain, rescued the horse from the gang of yobs on 9 March and handed her over to Sue and Rod Weeding, co-founders of the Easy Horse Care rescue centre in Rojales, Alicante.

She had “horrendous” scars on her back, caused by an ill-fitting saddle, and a deformed spine, thought to be caused by being ridden hard at a young age.

The rescue centre’s vet, Dorothea Dudli von Dewitz, examined the mare and estimated her age at between 23 and 25.

“Sue has decided to call her Beauty because ‘she’s surely never been told that she’s beautiful’,” said a spokesman for the centre.

“Beauty’s suspensory ligaments have lost elasticity and are collapsing, and she’s in desperate need of a good hoof trim,” she added. “The centre’s 113th resident will require a pair of special shoes to relieve her old legs.”

Beauty has now been at the centre for some weeks and is settling in well and enjoying her food. Although she is still nervous of people, she is looking brighter.

“The nightmare is over for this old girl – the centre’s official grandma – who will spend the rest of her life surrounded by love and care,” the spokesman said.

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Sue added; “How on earth could we have said ‘no’ to saving this poor old soul?”

The not-for-profit Easy Horse Care rescue centre relies on donations to fund its work, including the care of its 113 horses, ponies and donkeys, all of whom have been rescued from abuse or neglect.

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