Foal Found with Headcollar Dug into his Flesh is now Flourishing with Rehomer


Foal rescued from terrible injuries is celebrated in World Horse Welfare’s Rehome a Horse Month

Star charlotte

Young pony Star hit the headlines back in 2013 when, at just two months old, he was discovered with horrendous injuries after his headcollar became embedded in his face due to it not being adjusted as he grew. Star is now completely unrecognisable and has grown into a handsome, confident pony – loving life with his Hertfordshire rehomer, Charlotte.

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- Star when he was found, August 2013

When Star was rescued by World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Nick White, he was rushed to the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar where he needed surgery to remove the headcollar that had become deeply embedded in the flesh of his face, damaging his nasal bone and causing him immense pain. Once well enough, he was moved to World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre to begin his rehabilitation. He had never been handled so was very fearful of humans but with dedicated care and attention he slowly began to make progress. The damage from the headcollar was so severe that he is left with permanent scarring and damage to his facial bones, but thankfully this doesn’t prevent him from leading a normal, happy life.

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- Star when he was found, August 2013

Shortly before Christmas 2014, Star found a loving new home with Charlotte Shepherd and the pair quickly became inseparable. She said:

“When I first saw the story about what had happened to Star I couldn't quite believe it; the extent of his injuries was horrific and the fact he was so young. I couldn't quite get my head around how or why anyone would let this happen. I knew I needed to help him and offer him his forever home; I had the space for him and the knowledge with youngsters - I knew it was the right thing to do. I applied for him straightaway!

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- Star after surgery to remove the headcollar, August 2013

“Star has quite literally come on leaps and bounds since I have rehomed him. He was still quite nervous when he first arrived so it has taken time and lots of TLC to make him the pony he is today. He really is my best friend, a true mummy's boy!

“I have spent a lot of time with Star just getting him to regain trust in us humans - lots of handling, grooming and just spending the time with him. It has been hard work and we had days which were better than others but overall he is so well behaved. I know I always say it but Star is a true superstar with a cracking little personality.

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- Star in his home with Charlotte, Summer 2017

“Star might not be the biggest pony in physical size but his personality certainly makes up for it. He is absolutely the boss of his field and likes to keep his friends in line, whilst always being inquisitive and making sure he investigates everything he can get his nose on (or in!).

“He’s been enjoying learning about the world and developing his education so I know he has a bright future ahead and I’m hoping he can be backed to ride in the future.

“I would 100% recommend rehoming to other people. There are so many horses out there in need of their forever home and when one pony is rehomed it makes space for the next one who is need of help from the World Horse Welfare. Also rehoming a horse or pony is so rewarding, I have loved watching Star grow into a lovely, confident pony.”

September marks World Horse Welfare’s annual Rehome a Horse Month, a month of activity aimed at highlighting the benefits of rehoming, sharing just some of the amazing stories of rehomers around the country and raising awareness of the many horses and ponies still looking for a home. Each year, World Horse Welfare rehomes around 300 horses and ponies with over 1,800 currently out in loving homes around the UK.

World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive, Tony Tyler, said:

“Rehome a Horse Month is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the many reasons why rehoming should always be the go-to option for anyone looking for a new horse or pony. Not only can you be guaranteed of complete honesty and transparency, but you also receive the support and back up of the World Horse Welfare team, plus the safety net that the horse or pony can be returned to our care at any time should your circumstances change.

“We are so grateful to all of our fantastic rehomers who are giving these horses and ponies a second chance at the life they deserve and it really is incredible to hear of all the amazing things they are achieving. From loyal companions to horse agility superstars, lead-rein ponies to driving dynamos and hacking horses to show ring successes – it seems there is nothing rehomed horses and ponies cannot do!”

Find out more about rehoming at:

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- Star and Charlotte together, Summer 2017