A coloured cob has been found dead on a golf course in Essex.
Golfers at Warley Park club near Brentwood discovered the 13hh pony on 9 September.
The piebald, thought to be a youngster of around three or four years old, was found with a ruptured stomach.
Local horse owner Sharon Bowmer was called by the club for assistance following the discovery.
“I thought it was going to be a badger or something, I was totally shocked when I saw it was a horse,” she said.
“He wasn’t thin, he had a good body condition, but his stomach was like that, he probably had some sort of rupture.”
The RSPCA and police were called, but were not able to remove the body, so Sharon and her daughter Lauren arranged for the pony to be cremated.
“It really was so sad, but we felt like we couldn’t just leave him there,” Lauren said.
“I couldn’t sleep that Friday night thinking of that poor thing in the field on his own,” added Sharon.
The pony was removed and cremated the following day (10 September).
Sharon said it was a mystery what had happened to the pony.
He was checked for a microchip by her vet, but found to not have one. The vet believed his cause of death was colic.
A spokesman for the RPSCA confirmed it was contacted on 9 September about the pony.
“An inspector went out to find the body, but with no evidence of wrongdoing or CCTV in the area all she could do at that stage was advise calling Defra so removal of the body could be arranged,” an RSPCA spokesman told H&H.
“Our inspectors have to prioritise their time for animals that are suffering and in need of rescue.”
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The spokesman added that anyone with any information about the pony can call 0300 1234999 to speak to an officer.
The Bowmers have set up a Just Giving page to help fund the cost of the pony’s cremation.
So far, £80 of the £350 target has been raised.