On Wednesday 24th February, Redwings Horse Sanctuary rescued a severely neglected pony found fly-grazing in a residential area in Essex.

The 13hh piebald cob – who is estimated to be three years old and who has since been named Liquorice – was seized under the newly introduced Control of Horses Act (England) following a telephone call to Harlow council from a resident about an abandoned pony.

Meanwhile, Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s welfare line had also received a call from a concerned member of the public, following which Senior Field Officer Jo Franklin attended, together with a veterinary surgeon from nearby House and Jackson Equine Clinic.

“We were met with a very sick filly on arriving at the site,” commented Jo. “She had been abandoned on a green opposite a housing estate and was extremely thin with a body condition score of 0.5 [normal BCS is 3]. Her back legs were also covered in diarrhoea and she had a weeping wound on her right hind leg.”

With James Pretty from Harlow council present and the police, the cob was seized from the residential area and taken to House and Jackson for emergency veterinary treatment.

Initial treatment has included wound care and feeding rehabilitation to build Liquorice’s strength; however there are grave concerns for the extent of the wound on her leg and whether she’s at risk of serious infection and permanent damage.

Liquorice’s treatment is being funded by Redwings and the charity hopes to be able to welcome her into their permanent care, as Redwings Chief Executive Lynn Cutress explains:

“We are all very concerned about this very poorly pony and will be closely following her progress with the hope to be able to bring her into our Essex centre, Redwings Ada Cole, but she is currently in the best place possible under the care of the team at House and Jackson.

“We are really saddened by Liquorice’s neglect and abandonment – in fact, this is one of the worst cases we’ve seen this year – and call on the help of our supporters to enable us to fund her care.

“Liquorice’s case further emphasises our battle in the current horse crisis as again we have been called upon to pick up the pieces irresponsible horse owners leave behind. We are continuing in our fight, but we cannot do this alone.

“Following our successful campaign to establish the Control of Horses Act for England and Wales, we are turning our attention towards ensuring greater enforcement of equine identification regulations and the reinstatement of a fit-for-purpose centralised equine database, so irresponsible owners can be identified and horses such as this poor filly can be protected”.

MAR16 News Liquorice