Mare injured in arson attack hoped to return home for Christmas

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  • A mare involved in a suspected arson attack last month is making good progress at the vets and it is hoped she can return home in time for Christmas.

    Juwireya (“Hettie”) suffered serious burns in the blaze on 26 November, in which her son, two-year-old gelding Impossible Dream, died.

    The horses belong to Brian and Janet Vokes, who bred Welsh Grand National winner Dream Alliance, and are based in Cefn Fforest, Caerphilly county.

    A JustGiving page set up to help the Vokes rebuild their stables and pay for Hettie’s treatment has reached almost £10,000 in donations.

    “She’s coming on lovely now,” Janet said of the 10-year-old’s progress. “It still looks horrendous but it is healing.

    “The vet is happy with her face. Her eye has opened and she hasn’t lost her sight.

    “Her whiskers are starting to grow back and her eyelashes.

    “In the beginning after the fire when we gave her an apple she would take it with her teeth as her lips were burnt but now she is using her lips again.”

    Janet said that Hettie has been well behaved throughout her rehabilitation.

    Hettie soon after the fire

    “She has the most wonderful temperament,” she said.

    “For the first four or five days they were checking on her at night and she would be a little bit agitated — I don’t know whether that was flashbacks from what happened.”

    Janet added that the footing has been laid for new stables, but the work has been delayed because of snow.

    Janet said: “We’ve been here for 30 years and never had any trouble, but it’s just one of those things. We are heartbroken but life goes on.”

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    She added that her vet is confident Hettie will be able to be put in foal once more when she returns to full health.

    Simon Sweeting, who stands Schiaparelli for Godolphin at Overbury Stud, offered the Vokes a free nomination after he heard about the fire.

    Schiaparelli was also the father of Impossible Dream.

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