Horse rescued from mud flats is expecting a foal

A horse rescued from treacherous mud flats on the edge of the river Severn at the end February this year is expecting a foal. 

Sapphire at the site of her rescue with the Severn Bridge in the background. She was dangerously close to the edge of the estuary.

Sapphire at the site of her rescue with the Severn Bridge in the background. She was dangerously close to the edge of the estuary.

Thoroughbred Mare Sapphire, who was pregnant at the time of her rescue, will give birth in the safety of HorseWorld, the charity that saved her.

HorseWorld were alerted to Sapphire’s plight after she had been abandoned on land on the edge of the River Severn in the industrial area of Avonmouth.

She was on land close to the edge of the estuary where there are dangerous mud flats between the land and the water and a fast tidal current. 

If she had become stuck in the mud, the tide would have come in and drowned her. A young mare perished last year stuck in the mud on the same stretch of land. 

Sapphire was frightened and was very wary of people. There was no sign of anyone visiting her and an abandonment notice posted on the gate prompted no response. 

She was very cold, thin and covered in lice.

Sapphire was thin and wary of people when she arrived at HorseWorld 

Sapphire was thin and wary of people when she arrived at HorseWorld 

HorseWorld’s Equine Welfare Yard Manager, Sarah Hollister said: “It was clear we were not going to be able to catch her on the first day as she was extremely suspicious of what we were going to do to her.

“We posted the abandonment notices and came back daily to keep trying. On the third attempt, we added a little oral sedation to the feed to calm her nerves and to our relief, she allowed us to put a headcollar on and lead her onto the trailer.

"We took her back to HorseWorld where the vet checked her over. No owner ever came forward to try to claim her or to explain why they’d left their horse in such a dangerous place and in such poor condition.”

The mare was named Sapphire to commemorate HorseWorld’s 65th year of saving horses. She will be in a paddock where people can see her at the HorseWorld Charity Open Day on Saturday 12th August.

Sapphire has made friends with elderly mare, Rue since she arrived at HorseWorld and will give birth in the safety of the sanctuary 

Sapphire has made friends with elderly mare, Rue since she arrived at HorseWorld and will give birth in the safety of the sanctuary 

Visitors will be able to come to HorseWorld, meet many of the rescued animals and see behind the scenes at a busy working rescue charity.

Many rescued horses that are now fit and healthy and in the process of rehabilitation will be brought into stables, barns and paddocks for people to meet.

Those who adopt HorseWorld animals will be able to visit them all and there will be walks, talks and tractor safari tours throughout the day.

Refreshments, hot food, cakes and HorseWorld merchandise will also be available as well as the opportunity to purchase an adoption pack for any of the other animals on the scheme.

HorseWorld’s Charity Open Day is open to everyone, with free parking and free entry.

The charity's open day gives the public the chance to say 'hello' to the horses and ponies rescued by HorseWorld 

The charity's open day gives the public the chance to say 'hello' to the horses and ponies rescued by HorseWorld 

Donations towards HorseWorld’s on-going rescue work and towards the upkeep of the rescued animals are welcome.

No dogs please except guide and assistance dogs as many of the rescued horses and ponies have not yet been introduced to dogs.

The Open Day runs from 10.30am till 4.00pm and is at HorseWorld, Keynes Farm, Staunton Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol BS14 0QL

For more information about HorseWorld’s work, events and adoption scheme, please visit www.horseworld.org.uk

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