‘Run free, our fighter to the end’: sad farewell to ‘miracle’ mare

  • A “beautiful miracle mare” who beat all odds to survive the worst body condition an equine charity had ever seen has died after 10 happy years.

    The Horse Trust said staff were devastated to announce that Pollyanna, who had lived at the sanctuary since her rescue in 2014, had had to be put down.

    A spokesman for the charity said Pollyanna’s “inspirational fight to live” had made her popular with sponsors.

    “Pollyanna was found dumped alongside two other mares in a large cornfield near the M25 in Chalfont St Peter in February 10 years ago,” he said. “All three mares were emaciated and in a terrible condition; one was too weak to stand and had to be put to sleep on the scene.”

    The other two, Pollyanna and Penelope, were taken to the Horse Trust where despite the team’s best efforts, Penelope had to be put down.

    “Tragically, Penelope suffered many complications from the horrific neglect they had suffered, and these were too much for her to bear,” the spokesman said. “She was euthanised to avoid her suffering any further once all avenues to aid her rehabilitation were exhausted.

    “However, Pollyanna had a fighting spirit and despite severe emaciation, heavy worm burden, rain scald and conjunctivitis she began to slowly heal and recover thanks to the dedicated care given from the Horse Trust team.”

    Pollyanna when she was rescued. Credit: The Horse Trust

    After a few months of careful feeding, Pollyanna was unrecognisable, the charity said, adding: “She was not only gorgeous to look at but had also grown in confidence, becoming extremely friendly and enjoying nothing more than attention and fuss from the team.

    “Her amazing transformation and lovable nature made her a wonderful candidate for our sponsorship scheme and we can only thank those who have supported her journey throughout her life here, as it is regular funds like these that allow us to continue to rehabilitate other horses who find themselves in situations like poor Polly.”

    The spokesman said that Pollyanna had stayed healthy and happy but that the psychological effects of her neglect meant she found being in a stable or having intensive courses of veterinary treatment very stressful.

    “Therefore, we have always been realistic about her mental welfare should she ever require another rigorous recovery plan,” he said.

    “In the past year, she has suffered from low-grade lameness issues that we have managed within her comfort zone. More recently, it became apparent that for a full recovery she would be required to undergo treatment that would cause her extreme stress due to her past. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to say goodnight one final time, protecting Pollyanna’s physical and psychological welfare.

    “Run free, precious Polly, our fighter until the end.”

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