An equine charity is battling to save the life of a foal who was born to a neglected, emaciated mother who they rescued. A second foal, also born to a malnourished dam within the same herd, sadly died despite the tireless efforts of charity staff.

HorseWorld, on the outskirts of Bristol rescued the heavily pregnant mothers in 2021. They had been found standing in a filthy barn, hock-deep in soiled bedding. They were “desperately malnourished”, riddled with lice, suffering from rain scald and had very over-grown hooves.

The mares were taken to HorseWorld where the team, alongside vets, worked to try to save the mothers and their unborn foals.

Soon after arrival, one of the mares, LJ, gave birth to a premature foal. The team battled around the clock to nurse the young colt, named Thor, and LJ came down with an infection soon after the foaling.

The remaining mare, Pink Champagne had a fairly straightforward labour and her newborn foal appeared to be healthy. The team named the filly Pink Gin or Ginny for short.

However, the malnourishment Ginny’s dam had been subjected to meant the youngster arrived with a weak immune system, and fell ill with a potentially fatal infection. Once again, the team worked around the clock to keep her alive.

“After more than a year of the HorseWorld Veterinary and Welfare team battling various health problems with both Ginny and Thor, we have the extremely sad news that we’ve had to say goodbye to Thor,” said HorseWorld’s Head of Welfare, Sarah Hollister. “It’s always heart breaking to lose any of our HorseWorld family, but with such a special young horse, who we all thought was on the road to recovery it is just devastating.

“Ginny and Thor had been on such a remarkable journey together and we were really hoping they both had a long and happy life to look forward to but sadly for Thor, the neglect his mother had suffered whilst pregnant had set his tiny body up for a battle he couldn’t win. Our veterinary team at B&W Equine Vets and the HorseWorld staff fought alongside Thor with no expense spared in his care but his health suddenly took a turn for the worse and blood tests revealed his digestive system was failing fast.

“We are battling to save Ginny who’s health has also been hugely affected by the terrible neglect her mother suffered. We were hoping that this little filly would have her whole life to look forward to but we are facing an uncertain future for her. Our veterinary and Welfare team are monitoring her on a daily basis and she is receiving expert care. Without the support of the donations we have received for them we couldn’t continue this intensive care and we are so grateful for every donation which can help us give Ginny the best possible chance of a good life.”

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