Health improves for emaciated horse found on hillside

An emaciated horse found on a dark Harlow hillside is getting stronger every day and an appeal to help her has already raised an amazing £8,200, with more than 480 people donating.

The RSPCA appealed for information after Lara, a red and white mare was found on the 14 April.

Laura was found tied up by a chain last month Credit: RSPCA

Lara was discovered just 40 miles from where Gizmo, the foal who was found dying by the side of the road in February, was found. She was tied up by a chain with every bone on her body visible in Canons Brook at 8pm.

Lara is thought to be around a year old and weighed 161 kilograms, less than half the weight she should have been. She was so weak when she was found that she couldn’t stand on her front legs and had collapsed.

She was rescued by the same team as Gizmo, which as well as the RSPCA included the police and a vet, vet nurse and yard manager from Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic in Halstead, where she has received the best of care ever since.

Lara gained 6.5kgs in 21 days and continues to gain weight* but her recovery hasn’t been without difficulties. She has had problems with very sore feet after her deformed and overgrown hooves had to be trimmed. Vets at first feared she had had laminitis which could have damaged her bones. However, this week X-rays revealed that Lara’s bones are fine and she is now able to walk without padded feet.

Lara and Gizmo’s stories are sadly not uncommon. The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses. The RSPCA alone has more than 600 horses in its care and receives more than 400 complaints relating to horse welfare every week.

Like Gizmo, a Facebook appeal concerning Lara has already received an overwhelming response with many people asking how they can help. Those wanting to donate towards Lara’s care should visit

Any surplus funds will be used for the rescue and treatment of other equines in a similar situation.

Anyone with any information about how Gizmo and Lara came to be dumped so callously like this should call 0300 123 8018.