A sad goodbye to Gracie May
Above; A tribute video to Gracie May
A popular heavy horse rescued from horrific neglect in 2001 by equine rescue charity, HorseWorld has sadly passed away in her sanctuary home this week.
17 hands high Gracie May measured seven feet high from the floor to the top of her head and weighed nearly a ton. She was the most popular horse on the charity’s adoption scheme.
“On 25 May 2001 we received a phone call from the RSPCA requiring assistance regarding a local emergency.” said HorseWorld’s Equine Husbandry Manager, Joanne Vaughan “When we arrived at the site we discovered a horse, Gracie May in a horrific state. She was extremely thin and had lost 90% of her body hair due to a chronic lice infestation. She was emaciated to the point where the ribs, breast bone and pelvic area were extremely prominent.”
Below shows the transformation in Gracie's body condition
“Gracie was living amongst the carcasses of four other horses, we think that she only survived as she was tall enough to pick leaves from surrounding trees overhanging the high fences. The owner (who has since been prosecuted by the RSPCA) had partially burnt the corpses in an attempt to cover up his neglect and because of his aggressive attitude, armed police had to assist in this rescue.”
Thanks to HorseWorld's dedicated and caring staff, Gracie May was able to make a full recovery and was eventually backed to be a ridden horse which led to her being rehomed on HorseWorld’s loan scheme. She returned to HorseWorld four years later. Due to intermittent lameness issues in her front legs, Gracie retired from ridden work in 2008 and after spending many years as a very popular resident at HorseWorld’s visitor centre she moved to the charity’s welfare department and settled into a happy and quiet life living out in the fields with a herd of her friends.
Sadly, in September 2014 Gracie developed problems in her hind legs which led to ongoing veterinary treatment until eventually medication and treatment couldn’t offer any pain relief so the decision was made to put her to sleep on 6th January 2015.
HorseWorld’s, Vicky Greenslade worked with and cared for Gracie for many years giving training demonstrations to the public.
“Gracie was a horse in a million” said Vicky. “HorseWorld won’t be the same without her. She was a fun loving gentle giant. She loved people and everyone loved her. She will be greatly missed and will leave a Shire-sized hole in our lives.”
To find out more about HorseWorld or make a donation help rescued horses like Gracie May, please visit www.horseworld.org.uk or call 01275 893020 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
Below is a news clip about Gracie May's rescue.
Article by: Amy Williams
Posted on: 9th January 2015