‘A pitiful sight’: terrified, malnourished and pregnant ponies abandoned

  • Five terrified, malnourished ponies have been taken into charity care, as the number of horses in desperate need “seems to be increasing faster than we can rescue them”.

    HorseWorld has taken in the group, one of whom appears to be heavily pregnant, who it is believed would not have survived without intervention.

    A spokesman for the equine welfare charity said its involvement came after an urgent call to help with a major rescue operation.

    “The economic crisis has had a huge impact on the number of horses in need and HorseWorld, like many other charities, was already at capacity,” the spokesman said. “Despite the pressure this placed on finances and resources, the charity couldn’t turn away from horses who were in desperate need of help.

    “After a long journey to the rescue site, they were greeted with the pitiful sight of animals that had clearly been dealt a very cruel hand in life.”

    HorseWorld’s head of equine welfare Sarah Hollister said the ponies were abandoned, unhandled and terrified of humans.

    “They wouldn’t have survived much longer without help,” she said. “In a situation like this the equine skills of our team are really tested but with plenty of patience and kindness they were able to coax the frightened, bewildered ponies into the lorry and transport them to the safety of HorseWorld.”

    The ponies are likely to be the subject of a prosecution, so HorseWorld is unable to go into any details of their identity or location until the court case has concluded.

    “Our veterinary team have begun treating these rescued ponies which will be continued over the summer and it will take years of rehabilitation in the safe surroundings of HorseWorld to reach a stage where they might be suitable to find a loving home on our rehoming scheme,” Ms Hollister said. “All this will place a financial pressure on HorseWorld so we’ve launched an appeal in the hope that our kind supporters may be able to help. The number of horses and ponies finding themselves in desperate need seems to be increasing faster than we can rescue them.”

    The spokesman added that the mare who appears to be pregnant is terrified of humans, making it difficult to examine her properly, but the group of five could very soon be six.

    HorseWorld’s fundraising and engagement coordinator Amy Williams added: “It’s incredibly difficult to raise the sizeable funds needed for a rescue like this when we are prevented from telling you all the details while the court case is incomplete but as soon as we can, we will publish updates on their progress.

    “Any amount you can give to help us meet these unexpected and substantial costs would make a real difference and help to give these ponies a chance of a much brighter future.”

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