“Emaciated little pony” Barney abandoned among pile of rubble in Essex saved by Redwings charity

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A horse found collapsed and abandoned in a pile of rubble has been nursed back to health thanks to charity Redwings.

Equine experts have come to the rescue of a five-month-old foal discovered collapsed in a pile of rubble and barely able to stand. The pony was found emaciated underneath his thick coat, and covered by an old mattress in December last year.

Barney, as he’s been named by staff at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, has gone on to make a remarkable recovery. The charity revealed pictures of how the youngster  was found abandoned, surrounded by tyres, gas canisters and rubble in Essex.

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The UK’s largest horse charity, Redwings revealed the recovery process and the care they have given to Barney at their Norfolk base. The sanctuary will remain his home for the time being  after an RSPCA investigation was unable to locate an owner.

Jo Franklin, Redwings Senior Field Officer and Ada Cole Centre Manager, said: “Little Barney was in a very poor state when he was found, and we were worried his might not be a happy ending. He was lying, collapsed and upside down, in a pile of rubble, partially covered by an old mattress.

“An RSPCA officer and vets from House & Jackson managed to get him onto his feet and warm him up, and I transported him to their Equine Veterinary Hospital where he stayed for two weeks. He couldn’t stand unaided and had a significant worm burden which he was treated for.  We’re very grateful to House & Jackson for their excellent work with him.”

Redwings Welfare Veterinary Surgeon, Nicola Berryman, who has been overseeing Barney’s care since he arrived at the Sanctuary, said: “Barney was able to stand up and lay down himself by the time he came to us, but he was very quiet and weak. Clinically he was doing better, but he was a very sad, emaciated little pony.

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“He had an infected wound on his left hip which needed surgery to remove the dead tissue and daily dressing changes to protect it. Barney was so skinny and the weather so cold that he had to wear a rug and without dressings the rug could have rubbed on it, so it was important the team carefully cleaned and redressed the wound daily.”

Berryman added that Barney’s recovery has been going well, saying: “It’s wonderful to see him now – he’s bright and has a character, skipping and bucking around his stable and going out for a daily turnout on the woodchips. He’s doing so well. This is why we all do this.”

Redwings Charity

Last year Redwings charity took in 109 horses and ponies, including Barney. The charity’s field officers identified and intervened in 175 cases throughout 2022, and improved the conditions of 622 horses through advice to owners or the removal of the equine into their care.

To make a donation to help ponies like Barney, visit the Redwings website or call 01508 505246.

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