‘The neglect was just too much’: foal born to rescued mare only lives 24 hours

  • Five ponies rescued “malnourished and frightened” are now safe and well – although a foal born to one of them after they were saved could not survive the neglect her dam had suffered.

    H&H reported last month that HorseWorld had taken in the ponies, but was unable to reveal details owing to a possible prosecution. The investigation has now concluded, as no owner could be traced, so the welfare charity can now share the ponies’ story.

    Pretzel, Peanut, Pumpkin, Peaches and Plum, as they are now named, were among 25 Welsh ponies seized from Gelligaer Common in MerthyrTydfil, Wales.

    “The ponies were completely unhandled, terrified of humans and in terrible condition,” a HorseWorld spokesman said. “There was not enough grazing on the common to sustain them. HorseWorld collaborated with multiple welfare charities to remove the ponies from this desperate situation and bring five of them to safety at HorseWorld.”

    Plum was heavily pregnant at the time of her rescue and her filly, Damson, did not live.

    “Sadly, the foal only survived 24 hours despite the best possible veterinary care,” the spokesman said. “The neglect her mother had suffered during pregnancy was just too much.”

    HorseWorld head of equine welfare Sarah Hollister said that the other ponies are doing well, expected to make a full recovery and have started gentle rehabilitation work.

    “This is a long slow process, which is never rushed – it takes as long as it takes,” she said. “The welfare of the horses, their comfort and happiness is paramount.

    “It could take years for these ponies to be fully trained and ready to embark on a new life ahead of them. This might be looking for a home on our rehoming scheme, it could be taking part in our HorseWorld Discovery courses. If the HorseWorld team’s opinion is that neither is an option, they will remain at HorseWorld living with a herd in the fields here.

    “Whatever lies ahead, once a horse or pony comes into HorseWorld’s care we guarantee they have a home for life. These ponies will never know neglect, mistreatment or starvation ever again. They are safe for the rest of their lives.”

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