‘Worst ever’ rescue case makes miracle transformation to show champion

  • Two rescue ponies, one among the “worst cases” charity staff have ever seen, have been transformed into showing champions.

    Buttercup, a 13-year-old 12hh mare, was awarded champion rescue pony, and 15-year-old 12.3hh gelding Clyde reserve champion rescue pony, at Equifest (29 August to 1 September).

    Clyde in May 2018

    A spokesman for World Horse Welfare said Buttercup arrived into the charity’s care pregnant and emaciated in June 2018 and was among the worst cases staff at Penny Farm rescue and rehoming centre had ever seen.

    Penny Farm yard supervisor Karen Wright said: “It’s incredible that Buttercup and her foal both survived given the terrible condition that Buttercup was in. She needed urgent treatment and was far too weak to care for her foal herself so the team had to hand-rear the foal, Frieda.

    “It took months of dedicated care from the team to get Buttercup strong enough to even be turned out in the field, but she’s gone from strength to strength since then. She’s really blossomed this summer and loves attention so we thought she should have a trip to Equifest to take part in the rescue classes.”

    Clyde arrived in the charity’s care in May 2018, severely emcated and with overgrown chipped feet.

    Clyde and Buttercup

    “He was covered in lice and had chunks of hair missing from his coat where he had tried to rub to ease the irritation. Clyde was very lethargic when he arrived with sunken eyes and no real will to survive,” said the spokesman.

    “The team at Penny Farm worked hard to make him more comfortable, treating his skin condition and using a duvet under his stable rug so that his protruding bones didn’t rub and create sores.”

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    Karen added that Clyde was in such poor condition it took weeks of dedicated care and attention before he started to become interested in his surroundings and respond to treatment.

    “He’s comes on in leaps and bounds since then and although he can still be a bit wary of new people, his confidence is growing fast. He’s turned into a very handsome pony and we were really proud to show him off at Equifest,” said Karen.

    “For Buttercup and Clyde to be transformed into showing champions in just over a year is a great tribute to the team’s hard work given how poorly they were on arrival. We’re very proud of both ponies and Buttercup is doing really well with learning to drive, so we hope that she will be ready to rehome very soon.”

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