RSPCA investigates after ‘painfully thin’ Hampshire pony is found dying while giving birth

RSPCA officers have launched an investigation after an emaciated pony was found dying while giving birth in a Hampshire field over the Easter weekend.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 4:30 pm

The black and white piebald, thought to be about five years old, collapsed as she struggled to give birth to her foal in a field at Mill Lane, North Warnborough, yesterday.

RSPCA officers were called to the scene by passers-by who were desperately trying to help the pony by scooping water into her mouth and assisting her delivery.

But tragically her foal died during birth – and vets later made the call to put her to sleep because she was exhausted and was found to be suffering from severe parasites.

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The pony, thought to be five years old, pictured during the tragic incident in North Warnborough, Hampshire, yesterday. Picture: RSPCA
The pony, thought to be five years old, pictured during the tragic incident in North Warnborough, Hampshire, yesterday. Picture: RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Nikki Denham rushed to assist the people who went to the pony’s aid at the scene.

‘In all my years as an RSPCA inspector, I’ve never seen anything quite so distressing and upsetting as this,' she said.

‘The mare was painfully thin and collapsed on the floor, and she had only managed to partly give birth to her foal.

‘Tragically, the foal had died during the birth and it was just so upsetting that his lifeless little body had to be pulled out of the mare, who was in such a grave condition herself.

‘The weather was really hot and the kind people who had found her had tried to give her water, and I called a vet out immediately in the hope there was something that could be done to save her.

‘Tragically, she was so emaciated and exhausted from the birth, as well as suffering with severe parasites, the vets made the decision to put her to sleep to end her severe suffering, with permission from the police.’

Around 20 other horses were in the field at the time of the ordeal and a youngster was found to be standing beside the pony as she lay in pain.

Devastatingly, the RSPCA said this animal is thought to have been her foal from last year.

Inspector Denham, who was ‘shocked and completely appalled by the incident’, said it would have been ‘totally avoidable’ if her owner gave proper care and attention.

‘I’d like to thank the members of the public, some of whom were children, that stayed with the mare and showed her such kindness,' she said.

‘Sadly they had to witness such a traumatic incident over what should have a been a very enjoyable and relaxing Bank Holiday for them.

‘I am very keen to hear from anybody with any information to lead us to who owns this mare.

‘She was not microchipped but if people can come forward with information that will help me investigate, I would be very grateful.

‘They can be assured they can contact me in complete confidence, by leaving a message for me on our inspector’s appeal line number on 0300 123 8018.’