Charity's worst surviving rescue has finally found a home



In January 2011, staff at equine rescue centre, HorseWorld worked around the clock to save the life of a young cob who arrived at the charity’s welfare department weighing just a third of his ideal body weight. Now, four years later, he is fully recovered, fully grown and has finally found a family and a home to call his own.

HorseWorld Groom, Kayleigh Macleod helped to give Buddy the care and medication he needed when he was so emaciated and ill. “He looked ready to die and was so weak that his head had to be supported by grooms.

Buddy shortly after arriving at HorseWorld

It took a drip and six blood transfusions to give Buddy the strength to support his own weight. He had to be lifted to his feet every two hours day and night for the first two weeks.“If he laid down, he was unable to get himself back up again and became distressed that he couldn't get to his food. He couldn't be left laying down for too long. In his efforts to get up, he would rub sores on his shoulders, hips and head where his bones protruded through his fragile skin. Buddy’s bed had to be very deep with huge banks of straw around the edges for him to push against while we were lifting him.”

On arrival at HorseWorld Buddy weighed just 108kg and his frail skeletal frame was hidden beneath his thick, matted winter coat. If he had been cared for and healthy, he would have weighed around 280-300kg. He was also suffering from severe diarrhoea that was full of redworm.

Now, four years on, Buddy is fighting fit and giving no clues to his traumatic start in life. HorseWorld’s team of specialist trainers worked with the young pony to train him to be ridden so he could find a new home on the charity’s loan scheme where he would receive all the love and one-to-one attention he deserves.Buddy’s new loaner, Harriet Champion said,

“I'm so excited to give Buddy a new home. He will be being ridden by my two nephews and niece where they can all grow up together and learn together as a team. I'm looking forward to being able to give all the team at HorseWorld updates on how he’s doing after the bad start in life he had.”

Buddy’s medical care cost over £2,600 in the first three weeks alone. Vet fees and feed costs continued to accumulate throughout his rehabilitation. Manager, Jerry Watkins commented “This is one of the worst cases of neglect HorseWorld has seen in a long time, the fact that Buddy kept fighting was enough inspiration for us to fight just as hard to save his young life. Now, seeing him start his new life as a riding pony with a family that love him makes it all worthwhile.

The video at the top of this page shows Buddy's progress from rescue, through rehabilitaion to rehoming.

“Buddy is now fully recovered but is just one of many rescue cases that HorseWorld helps. The winter is our busiest time when the cold weather and lack of grazing means that horses that are abandoned or neglected become emaciated and ill very quickly. We do not receive any government funding for the rescue service we provide, and rely completely on the generous support of the public to be able to rescue these animals.”

Buddy is just one of many horses that HorseWorld rescues. Ways you can help horses like Buddy are;

  • Call 01275 893020 and make a donation by card over the phone.


Helping horses like Buddy is an ongoing and expensive cause. Thank you.


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For additional information or images, please contact Amy, our Communications Officer on the details below.

Article By: Amy Williams amy.williams@horseworld.org.uk

Posted on: 20th January 2015