‘The tide would have drowned her’: pony saved from treacherous estuary

  • A horse rescued from a treacherous area is “doing well” after she was taken in by a charity.

    Sapphire, as she is now know, was spotted abandoned on land at the edge of the River Severn in Avonmouth.

    This piece of land, known as the foreshore, is highly dangerous due to soft mud on the edge of the river and the fast tidal current.

    A young mare died on the same stretch last year after she became stuck in the mud.

    Bristol-based charity HorseWorld was alerted to the mare at the end of February.

    “There was no hope of catching her on the first day as she was terrified of us and very suspicious of what we were going to do to her,” said HorseWorld’s equine welfare yard manager, Sarah Hollister.

    “We posted abandonment notices and came back to try again the next day.

    “With support from a member of the public, we returned daily to feed the mare from a bucket and gradually gain her trust.

    “On the third attempt, we added a little oral sedation to the feed to calm her nerves and finally managed to get a headcollar on her without causing her too much stress.”

    Article continues below…

    You might also be interested in:

    The horse was alone, thin and covered in lice. There was no sign that anyone was caring for her.

    “We were so relieved to have caught her,” added Ms Hollister.

    “If she had become stuck in the mud, the tide would have come in and drowned her. Once caught, she loaded into the trailer quite easily and was taken back to HorseWorld where the vet came to check her over.

    “No owner ever came forward to try to claim her or to explain why they’d left their horse in such a dangerous place and in such poor condition.”

    The mare has now settled in at the charity and is putting on weight.

    “She is now able to be treated by the dentist and the farrier as her trust in humans is gradually building,” said Ms Hollister.

    The mare was named Sapphire to commemorate HorseWorld’s 65th year of saving equines.

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

    You may like...