'Emaciated' horse found dumped in pile of rubble in Essex

Barney was found lying in a pile of rubble Credit: Redwings Sanctuary

A horse which was discovered collapsed in a pile of rubble, barely able to stand and covered by an old mattress has been nursed back to full health.

The five-month-old foal was found emaciated underneath his thick coat and had pressure sores all over his body, said the charity which rescued him.

The horse, named Barney by volunteers who rescued him, was discovered abandoned in Essex in December surrounded by tyres, gas canisters and rubble - but has now recovered well.

Jo Franklin, from the charity Redwings, 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 on to his feet and warm him up, and I transported him to their equine veterinary hospital where he stayed for two weeks."

Barney is in much better health thanks to the work of volunteers from Redwings Credit: Redwings

Barney is now at the Norfolk based charity Redwings, which provides sanctuary to horses.

The team there took several weeks to bring Barney back to health, treating an infected wound on his left hip which eventually required surgery.

Redwings said Barney was now doing well, and will stay with the charity indefinitely after an RSPCA investigation was unable to locate an owner.

Redwings welfare veterinary surgeon Nicola Berryman said: “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.”

She added: "This is why we all do this."

Last year Redwings took in 109 horses and ponies, including Barney.

Redwings’ field officers identified and intervened in 175 cases in 2022, improving the conditions of 622 horses through advice to owners or the removal of the equine into their care.

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