Two mares have been dumped and “left to die” with serious wounds to their legs on Bodmin Moor.

Julie Dowton, who works as an unpaid livestock and welfare officer for the Commons Council, said she spotted one of the mares standing in a pool of blood about a week ago.

“She had a significant wound to her leg that looked like a bite and she was bleeding heavily. It was so lucky I saw her. There was a shocking amount of blood and there’s no way she would have survived the night,” Julie told H&H.

Four weeks earlier a horse owner saw a mare on a similar area of the moor after he went out to investigate when his own horses became agitated. She had also suffered a serious leg wound.

“Both horses were very friendly. We knew straight away they weren’t our ponies because of their size and because we were able to put head collars on them and lead them on to a trailer — the moorland ponies would not let us do that,” said Julie.

“They are nicely bred horses and clearly, at one time, somebody loved them — but not any more. It’s so unnecessary for people to behave in this way. If they can’t cope there are charities and organisations out there who can help them.

“By dumping them out on the moor like that they were signing their death warrants. It’s so sad to think they loaded them up and knew exactly what they were doing. We think it’s probably the same person as they were both left in similar places,” added Julie.

Continues below…



The two horses, named Nelly and Dora by Julie, are both receiving veterinary treatment and being cared for by volunteers who support the Commons Council. Julie is hopeful they will make a full recovery and will be re-homed.

Bodmin Moor Commons Council was set up in 2015 to provide a democratic voice for all those with rights to use the common.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.