‘A graveyard of the walking dead’: looking back at Amersham crisis 10 years on

  • A moving film showing the story of the equine survivors of the Spindles Farm crisis has been released to mark 10 years since the rescue.

    In January 2008, Redwings worked with a number of other welfare organisations, including the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, to rescue more than 100 equines.

    “Probably the most shocking thing is it was like a graveyard with the walking dead,” said one of the rescuers on the film.

    The horses, ponies and donkeys were found living in horrific conditions at the farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

    They were in varying states of emaciation, covered in lice and suffering from overgrown feet.

    The carcases of more than 30 horses and donkeys were strewn around the farm.

    The film looks back at the horrors faced by rescuers on their arrival, to how they went about rehabilitating the equines and finally visits some of the happily rehomed survivors.

    “It was very moving to think back to the rescue,” said Redwings chief executive, Lynn Cutress.

    “[It was also moving] to recall the sight of these terribly ill and sad animals arriving at Redwings, and then to reflect on today when so many of them are enjoying wonderfully happy and healthy lives here at the sanctuary or in guardian homes.”

    Redwings offered homes to 60 horses and donkeys, as well as six foals born to rescued mares.

    A total of 58 of these are still living at the sanctuary or in guardian homes.

    “I’m always amazed by the efforts Redwings staff put into caring for our residents every day,” added Ms Cutress.

    “They deserve special thanks for how they managed to turn around the lives of our Amersham survivors and I hope this short film goes some way to show the incredible care and love they’ve given these horses and donkeys over the last decade.”

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