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Last chance to nominate an equine ‘survivor’ for prestigious award

Do you know a special equine “survivor” deserving of a prestigious award?

The RSPCA honours acknowledge the work of people and animals, celebrating “true animal champions” at a star-studded red carpet event on 16 July in Northumberland. The awards will be judged by an independent celebrity panel including Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden and Dr Rory Cowlam, known as Rory the Vet from CBBC show The Pet Factor, with more to be announced.

A spokesman said awards are given for everything from outstanding service to animals, exceptional contributions to welfare, heroic rescue stories or the amazing feats of bravery of the animals themselves.

Nominations close on Thursday (13 February) at 4pm and equines can be nominated in three categories:

Survivor award; for an animal who has survived against the odds

Amazing animal award; for an animal who has made a difference to a person’s life

Rescue or service animal award; for a service animal whose actions have helped in a potentially life-threatening situation

Last year’s winner of the survivor award was 13.3hh mare Elsa, who suffered horrific burns to her back legs but amazing vets with her “astonishing” recovery.

“The judges were so impressed by the plucky pony’s strength and will to live, though they struggled to read her harrowing tale,” said the spokesman.

RSPCA Felledge Equine Centre manager Lisa Paulin, who has been by five-year-old Elsa’s side since she was rescued three years ago, said she was delighted the mare won.

“Her story was inspirational of how a horse without hope can demonstrate such bravery despite their dreadful start,” she said.

“Credit must go out to the entire team at the centre for their hard work and compassion during her rehabilitation process – I am proud of them all.”

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Other award categories include the young person award for under 16s who have shown exceptional kindness to animals, and the outstanding contribution award for an individual or organisation in recognition of dedication and tireless work for animals or their welfare.

“The RSPCA honours is an opportunity to recognise people and organisations who help to make the lives of animals better through kindness, courage, determination and innovation,” said the spokesman.

“Winners and nominees will be invited to the glitzy red carpet award ceremony where celebrities and animal champions will be in the audience to celebrate their fantastic achievements.”

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