Horse Rescue Fund: News and Events
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With Christmas just around the corner and being the season of good will, we are in need of everyone's help! At the end of July we took in Basil, as he is now named. Having been abandoned on common land, this little colt, at not even 2 years old, already had shoes on and various marks over his body from badly fitting harness. A couple of months after being given the all clear and allowed out of isolation, Basil developed a nasal discharge from one nostril that did not clear up with antibiotics. Our vets decided the best option was to refer him to Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons in Newmarket. Once in their care he had X-rays taken to find the cause of his issues and then keyhole surgery was performed to alleviate the problem and flush his sinus out. Basil stayed with them for 5 days before we could bring him home. Sadly after being home for nearly a week, we noticed an increase in his nasal discharge again and on speaking to his vet at Rossdales it was decided he should return for them to check what was going on. Basil''s 2nd stay was for a whole week! All tests they did came back clear, the discharge was getting less and less and his vet was happy that he was healing nicely. So yesterday off we went to fetch him home again! Now, as worth it as Basil is, for just his 1st stay it will have cost near to £4,000! We then have the 2nd stay to fund as well! So please, please, please think of Basil and his surgery this Christmas, any donations towards the cost of his treatment would be so gratefully received!
The 20th August sees us holding our Annual Open Horse Show. This year we are pleased to be returning to our venue at Raveningham, by kind invitation of Mr & Mrs Philip Warde. With fifty two classes, seven championships and a supreme championship, in five rings, it is a major event to organise, especially as we look for sponsorship for each class. If you could help in this way, please contact the yard on 01502 679191. With ridden and in-hand showing, working hunter and utility classes, show jumping and childrens novelty classes, it is a lovely day out whether you have a horse to compete or just want to come along as a spectator to watch. The schedule is available on www.horsedates.co.uk
Back in November, we received a call from the Environment Agency asking if we could take in an abandoned coloured colt. He was eventually found in an isolated area between a railway line and a river - not the yearling colt we expected, but a stallion about eight years old! As it was just prior to Remembrance Sunday we decided to call him Trooper. Although his bodily condition was good, what could be seen of his hooves were in bad condition, particularly his off fore, which appeared to be cracked right up to the coronet band. His mane, tail and feathers were so matted with burrs that it was clear he had been neglected for some time and that, sadly, the only way to remove these matted burrs would be to cut them off, but otherwise he appeared to be healthy. Once back to the safety of our yard he was placed in isolation where we could give him a full assessment. This is when the staff were shocked to discover, on removal of his feathers, the most amazing thing of all, he had an extra hoof!
When an animal is born with this disorder it is known as a polydactyl, and although not unheard of it is very rare. Trooper’s extra digit is situated on the inside of his right foreleg, coming off at the fetlock joint. Clinical examinations and X-rays by our vets, showed that he has a duplicate lower limb originating just below the knee with a well developed second cannon bone followed by the other bones which are not completely normal in size or development. Consultations with Rossdales, Newmarket then followed to evaluate the best course of treatment. As Trooper has been managing sufficiently, it has been decided not to operate at the present time. It is felt that any operation would carry a significant risk, creating a large wound which could be slow to heal due to him having typically thickened skin often associated with cobs.
Although, on arrival, Trooper appeared to be one of the more healthy abandonment cases he needed blood tests and veterinary checks to rule out any of the underlying health issues common in these equines as a result of their indiscriminate fly grazing. The removal of Troopers feathers revealed the extent of his problems. Where the extra digit had been allowed to grow and strike the ground repeatedly the pressure had created a large split in the skin which had become infected with maggots. The Farriers first job was to carefully reduce the extra hoof in length by some 4cm, avoiding the sensitive tissues within, thus reducing the risk of injury to his other leg. His main hoof should, in time, improve with regular trimming. He will require castration, worming, dentistry and regular checks by the vet and farrier. Currently he is adjusting to life on the yard with the other rescue equines and is a firm favourite with the staff due to his placid and sweet nature. Trooper will continue to receive the regular handling needed as part of his rehabilitation, with the aim being to find a suitable companion loan home for this individual and unique horse to safeguard his future.
As with all abandoned horses such as these, it places an additional financial drain on the Charity's limited resources. Trooper’s case in particular will involve high veterinary costs, with the castration of an older stallion, plus the possibility of further treatment or an operation on his extra hoof. Anyone wishing to make a donation towards Trooper’s ongoing care and others at risk may do so via the PayPal facility on our website donation page, or by cheques made payable to Horse Rescue Fund at Woodstock Farm, Post Office Road, Toft Monks, Beccles, NR34 0EH