Pregnant mare abandoned on tether gives birth to healthy foal

  • A horse who was found tethered and abandoned in a Yorkshire field has given birth to a healthy foal.

    The three-year-old mare, named Flare, was heavily in foal when she was spotted by a member of the public in October 2017.

    She and another pony were taken in by the RSPCA.

    Both were considered to be welfare concerns due to the fact they were both tethered and abandoned.

    Neither of the horses were microchipped and Flare’s pregnancy added to the charity’s concerns.

    Flare continued her pregnancy in the charity’s care and delivered her foal, Sienna, on 3 March.

    Sienna is the first RSPCA foal to be born in the charity’s care in the north this year.

    “Flare has done a wonderful job so far of bringing up baby Sienna at a specialist private boarding yard in Hull, but things could have been so different if she hadn’t been rescued,” said RSPCA equine rehoming officer for the north, Jacqui Wilson.

    “Mares carry their foal for approximately 11 months, but if Flare had been left abandoned for much longer, she may not have been able to safely give birth to Sienna.

    “If she had not been rescued and was still tethered when giving birth last week in the extreme weather conditions, it would have been very dangerous.

    “Because of this risk RSPCA inspectors were able to act.”

    Tethering is legal, but the RSPCA does not agree with it.

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    “It is very difficult to ensure good welfare keeping horses in this way, particularly for pregnant mares,” said a spokesman for the charity.

    “Being tethered while giving birth and then with a foal at foot would have been incredibly stressful for Flare as she wouldn’t have been able to freely move around to protect her or Sienna from any danger.

    “As this posed a significant risk to her welfare and no owners came forward to claim her, she was considered abandoned and could be taken into the charity’s care.”

    Ms Wilson added the RSPCA has more than 800 horses in its care and stories like Flare and Sienna’s are “all too common”.

    “Our inspectors are called out every day to find abandoned horses, and without a microchip, it’s hard to trace who is responsible,” she said.

    “For now, this pair will stay in our care until Sienna is weaned in about six months time, then we can look to finding new homes for them, where they new lives can really start.”

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