Shetland pony foal rescued from brink of death

  • A sick Shetland pony foal whose mother died in foaling has made a miracle recovery after being treated with equipment used on elite horses.

    The foal has been named Little Miracle by the Horse Hospital sanctuary in Monmouth where he was brought after his mother was euthanised. He arrived in the boot of a car having been trapped half in and half out of his dam for two hours in a very distressing birth.

    Jenny MacGregor, owner of the Horse Hospital, said: “He was in a bit of a state. He couldn’t walk and the lady who brought him in had laid him on a car jack on the boot of her car, which had made an enormous hole in his side.”

    The sanctuary tried various treatments to restore his legs, including heat infra-red treatment, but found they were getting nowhere.

    So staff called in horse therapist Emma Simpson, who treated the foal with a cold compression treatment that is mostly used by elite horses for training recovery or tendon treatment. Called ‘Game Ready’, the process involves the horse wearing strapping that applies both compression and a cold compress. The system was used at this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

    Ally Mumtaz, the director of Game Ready in the UK, said: “This is the first time the equipment has been used in a case like this. It turned round a lost cause and we’re very excited about it. Before calling Emma in with her equipment they were scratching their heads as to what to do. They didn’t think he was going to make it.

    “This type of equipment is owned by a number of top riders. Little Miracle had two 15-minute treatments at medium pressure and started to recover.”

    Ms MacGregor said: “Little Miracle made the most amazing recovery. The very next day after the treatment he was walking. He’s now 12 days old and we’ve been feeding him every two hours, night and day.

    “So we’re exhausted but he’s fine. He’s lying on the lawn as I speak, but he can now canter.”


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