Emaciated horse left to die in Essex stuns carers two years on after taking part in competition
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A young horse who was left to die in a field in Essex two years ago has astonished his carers after taking part in a prestigious equine competition.
Gizmo, a coloured cob, was just four-months-old when he was found collapsed on frozen grass in Ridgewell in February 2015.
Abandoned without his mother, emaciated and riddled with liver disease, pneumonia and septicaemia, the foal was considered to be in such a bad condition that he was almost put down.
Gizmo was taken in by the Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic, in Wickham St Paul, and nursed back to health by staff before being adopted by vet Carolyn Wyse and nurse Hailey Harvey.
She said: “We almost put him to sleep to end his suffering and we thought if he was going to die he could do so comfortably at the clinic and we would make a fuss of him in his last few hours.
“Hours turned into days which turned into months. He couldn’t get up by himself for just over 40 days. He is the most intensive care case I’ve ever dealt with.”
She added: “We couldn’t risk him ever not being looked after again and we fell in love with his massive and cheeky personality. He also trusts us implicitly.”
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Just six months after his rescue, Gizmo won the youngstock class in the PRP and RSPCA championship at Equifest.
After taking a break from the spotlight though, the young horse is back and has wowed his carers by taking part in the competition again.
Ms Wyse said: “To our amazement he came second in his traditional horse class out of 19 horses - all of which looked fabulous. He also came second out of nine horses in his youngstock class where he behaved impeccably.”
Both classes are designed for rescue horses with marks given for their performance, transformation and rescue story.
“I get very emotional when I think back at how he looks now compared to then,” Ms Wyse added.
“I’ve seen so many neglect cases but I will never forget thinking we were too late and he had already died. He was just lying in frozen grass with his eyes glazed open, the grass flattened where he had been trying unsuccessfully to get up for so long.
“When I see him gallop around the field now with other horses I’m so incredibly happy but I’m also very proud that we worked tirelessly to save him.”