A piebald mare who was beaten and kicked by two men after she collapsed on the floor from exhaustion is now thriving in a new home following her rescue.

Daisy, a six year-old cob, was spotted by a passing motorist in distress, as she was driven on a road in Somerset. They said she looked traumatised, with her eyes bulging while pulling a cart carrying two men, and then suddenly collapsed in the road.

The witness then saw the men hitting Daisy and kicking her in the head and body multiple times while she lay motionless. Daisy eventually got to her feet, but was swaying as she walked up the road.

“The men in the cart were pulling the horse from side to side very aggressively from her bridle,” said the witness. “From owning horses myself, I knew from the body language of the horse that she was traumatised.

“The horse’s feet were planted firmly on the floor, legs were straight, head was positioned to the sky and her eyes were bulging and she looked totally exhausted and appeared like she would not move another step.

“I pulled my car to the side of the road and watched in horror as these two men beat this poor horse. Both were pulling at the horse trying to get her to move and both were hitting the horse and were very angry with her. They were shouting at the horse whilst they were hitting her with their hands.

“I saw the horse rear up in the air and come down on the road, collapsing onto her right hand side. The horse stayed on the road, and didn’t move nor did she return to her feet. Both males started to kick the horse really hard in the body and head whilst screaming aggressively at her to get up.”

Rescuing Daisy

The woman contacted the police and they alerted the RSPCA and an investigation was launched in April 2021. Daisy was traced and then taken for veterinary treatment by the charity.

She was found to have a cut between her front legs, and another deeper, larger cut on the left elbow. There were abrasions on the corner of her mouth on both sides, bruising on each side of the lower gums and a dark mark and swelling over her ribs on her right hand side.

An equine vet, with more than 20 years experience, examined Daisy and found that her injuries were consistent with falling to the ground, rough rein handling, and bruising from the shaft of the cart. The vet said the injuries were consistent with the account given by the witness.

Daisy was given anti-inflammatories and cream for her wounds. She was uncomfortable over her ribs for several days despite receiving treatment and she was “clearly traumatised” by her ordeal.

Since then, Daisy has been rehomed to a riding school through the British Horse Society’s Second Chance rehoming project and is now living at Checkendon Equestrian Centre near Reading.

The scheme is a joint venture between the RSPCA and the horse charity. It gives a second chance to rescued horses by rehoming them to BHS Approved Centres which support young people and gives them the opportunity to develop life skills through working with horses.

“When Daisy first arrived she was obviously still affected by what had happened,” said Emily Hancock, centre manager. “We gave her time out with other horses in a field so she could act like a horse and she made lots of friends which was heartening to see.

“Then she moved onto basic training getting her to trot in the arena – and we are helping her to trust us. Sometimes if she is spooked she will standstill and not move but she is learning not to be so unsure. In the six months we have had her she has made great progress.

“Our hope is that she will soon help out teaching riders who come to our centre – from children to adults, of all abilities. She is really enjoying life now – and is getting the horse and human contact that she probably never really experienced before. As she is young she is learning all the time.”

Inspector Hayley Lawrence, who investigated the case, said she was “so glad” to hear how well Daisy was doing in her new home, and added that credit should go to her equine fosterer who worked to bring her on over a year and made her ready for rehoming.

Cancel Out Cruelty

“Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale and rising,” said Dermot Murphy, the RSPCA’s inspectorate commissioner. “It is heartbreaking that we are seeing such sad figures which show animal cruelty is, very sadly, on the rise.

“Each year, these reports of cruelty reach its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when we receive a report of an animal being beaten on average every hour of every day.

“While we don’t know for certain why there has been an increase in reports of cruelty, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis with more people getting pets with potentially less time and money to care for them.

“The cost-of-living crisis also means the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high and our vital services are stretched to the limit.

“Together, we believe we can and will cancel out cruelty to animals by replacing violence with kindness. We are urging people to donate to our Cancel Out Cruelty campaign,every donation will help animals.”

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