This week World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA led a multi-agency operation, along with Northamptonshire Police and Wellingborough Borough Council, to rescue 43 fly-grazed horses from a field in Wellingborough after three died and conditions deteriorated in the wake of heavy storms.
World Horse Welfare Field Officer Chris Shaw, who led the operation for World Horse Welfare, said:
“I am on cloud 9 that we got those ponies out – this was a really challenging situation. World Horse Welfare was keen to remove them – particularly as the conditions had deteriorated – and we worked with the RSPCA to organise the operation once the landowner used its powers under the Control of Horses Act which allowed us to take action.
“We had already arranged 25 bales of hay for the horses while on site, and brought 10 more for the operation itself. This was a hugely complex rescue involving 43 horses and use of a hovercraft, boats, trucks and even a drone, which we used along with good old fashioned manpower to check we knew the location of each horse. The operation went really well and we are extremely grateful to the other equine charities who pitched in with their valiant help at short notice.”
The charities included Blue Cross who took in 10 of the ponies, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the British Horse Society and Bransby Horses.
World Horse Welfare now has 25 of the ponies in its care, while other charities took in the remainder with five taken to a holding yard locally as they were not fit enough to travel.
“We just have to get them on the road to recovery and eventually find them new homes. If people want to help, please donate, or if you can, rehome a horse. Charity centres are full and with the number of horses out there needing help this winter, we need to free up space if we are to take in more.”