19/08/2014 Six months after arrival Polly is well enough to meet the herd

Polly, the sole survivor of the three emaciated horses found abandoned in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire in February is finally well enough to be introduced to the herd after six months of constant care by the welfare team.


With a body condition of 0.5 Polly was near death and the most emaciated horse ever seen at the Horse Trust, worse even than the survivors of Spindles Farm. Polly was found by the RSPCA on 28th February with two other mares and we appealed to the public for information about horses that had been micro chipped and showed signs of having previously being cared for, clearly more victims of the national equine crisis. One mare was so weak that she had collapsed. There was nothing that could be done for her and she was put to sleep at the scene. Polly and Penny were brought to The Horse Trust needing urgent care. Even with round the clock monitoring Penny’s condition continued to deteriorate and, sadly Penny survived little more than a week before the vet took the decision to put her to sleep to avoid her suffering.


Polly, a very affectionate horse fought on and Trust staff and our vets remained focussed to try to help her pull through. It has been a long road, every day of the last 6 months has presented a new challenge and it truly has been a case of taking every day as it comes.
Every time it looked like Polly was making progress there was another setback. Her temperature, pulse and respiration rates were abnormal and her weight refused to stabilise, every time she gained a Kg it was lost within days. Rain scald and dermatitis were minor issues for Polly to contend with.


The welfare team persevered, and Polly herself proved to be a fighter. In early summer her condition slowly started to improve. Bit by bit hope for Polly was growing. It is tribute to the staff and Polly, that neither of them ever gave up and there were some tears on 6th August when Polly was turned out with the herd for the first time.


In recent weeks her weight had gradually and steadily increased and by late July had stabilised at a near normal weight of 466 Kg. Although we expect Polly to need extra care and attention for the rest of her life, her rehabilitation is, for the moment at least, complete.


Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust said “It seems such a long time since Polly came to us in February. Hers was a case of cruelty of the worst kind. Her condition was so terrible that we could never be totally sure if she would pull through until recently. Every day Polly enjoys from now is a bonus. It won’t be the end of treatment for her, but it is the beginning of her new life.”


Polly will always need extra care and supporters of the Horse Trust wishing to help Polly can sponsor her by becoming a friend of The Horse Trust. You can start sponsoring Polly straight away right here.  

If you prefer to make a one off donation to help with Polly please click here.