In April 2021 HorseWorld was called to help three “very neglected” and heavily pregnant thoroughbred mares from a site near Bristol. The mares were found standing in a “filthy” barn, hock-deep in soiled bedding.
“They were riddled with lice and suffering from rain scald due to exposure to prolonged wet weather, all had overgrown feet, and were desperately trying to cope with being malnourished and heavily pregnant,” said a HorseWorld spokesman.
The mares, LJ, Pink Champagne and Tango, were taken to the charity where they received emergency care in a desperate attempt to save them.
“Sadly, Tango did not recover from the horrendous neglect she had suffered and soon after arrival, veterinary examination revealed a fractured and infected bone within her hoof,” said the spokesman.
“Everyone was heartbroken, but at least for her final few days she had finally known how it felt to be cared for. Her final moments were full of love.”
On 13 May, LJ prematurely gave birth to a colt and his “life hung in the balance”.
“He was very cold and very weak and unable to stand on his own. He was so small the team had to buy him a dog coat to help keep him warm,” the spokesman said.
“LJ was also poorly and needed veterinary treatment after she suffered an infection. The team worked 24/7 to save the tiny colt. He had inherited his mother’s brave character and determination to survive – it was then our team named him Thor.”
The spokesman said a few weeks later Pink Champagne gave birth to a filly who seemed healthy at first, and the team “nervously celebrated” a positive outcome, but the mare and foal soon became very ill with campylobacter, a bacterial virus.
“If it hadn’t been for the quick action and excellent care she received, she would not have survived,” said the spokesman, adding that it cost £5,588 in vet fees to nurse the mares and foals.
The charity has launched a Valentine’s Day appeal asking its supporters to “show a little love” to secure the future of LJ, Pink Champagne and their foals – and other equines like them that the charity continues to provide for.
“Every penny donated will make a difference to Ginny, Thor, their mothers and other horses, ponies and donkeys who have, through no fault of their own, found themselves in need of help,” said Amy Williams, HorseWorld fundraising and engagement coordinator.
“Ginny and Thor will never know the cruelty and neglect that their mothers suffered as HorseWorld will always ensure their every need is met.”
The owner of the mares was prosecuted by the RSPCA and banned from keeping horses.
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