A foal is recovering after being found abandoned on a Christmas tree farm with leg and eye injuries.
The chestnut colt has been named “Rudolph” by charity World Horse Welfare, which has taken him in.
He was found in a field near Great Melton, Norfolk, by a member of the public on Friday (18 December) who called the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare.
Rudolph is receiving veterinary treatment for his injuries at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm rescue and rehoming centre, which is also in Norfolk.
“This poor little foal was in a sorry state — he was found alone in a field and was clearly injured,” said Ben Kirby of the RSPCA.
“One of his eyes was badly ulcerated and he had a nasty leg injury.
“It’s so sad to think somebody could have cruelly left Rudolph like this with such painful injuries, and just before Christmas too.”
Mr Kirby added it is “a relief” to know that at least one more horse in need of rescue is safe in time for Christmas.
World Horse Welfare is now appealing for information to try and find the foal’s owner.
Jacko Jackson, from the charity, is urging people to get in touch with them or the RSPCA.
“Rudolph has no microchip so we have no way of identifying his owner,” he said.
“This is sadly not an unusual case of a horse being dumped and left to fend for himself.
“Thankfully Rudolph was discovered and he is now in a safe place receiving the treatment he so desperately needed for his injuries.”
He added that it is fortunate the weather has been so mild recently or it could have been a “very different story”.
“Thankfully Rudolph is now in safe hands,” he said. “Christmas has come early for this little pony.”
Call World Horse Welfare on 08000 480 180 or the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 with information.