A HORSE named Hope who was left for dead in a muddy field has been crowned a ‘Show Champion’ – and her new owner was named ‘Vet of the Year’ for nursing her back to health.
Vet Vikki Fowler was so horrified by the the animal’s condition when she visited land off Plantation Road, Egworth, she bought her.
Last month Hope’s former owner, Philip Davies, was found guilty of 52 counts of animal cruelty for mistreating the 16 horses.
A year on from the rescue, all the horses have flourished in loving new homes.
And Vikki, 26, from Great Harwood, has been presented with an award by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) charity at the House of Commons for rescuing the three-year-old shire horse.
Hope had been was found collapsed with her legs tangled in barbed wire. She was cut free by onlookers and Vikki, who was the on call vet, was called.
Vikki said: “I thought she was dead. Her head was under the water and she was drowning.
“When we lifted her up with the crane I was convinced that she would not be able to stand.
“She was extremely thin and she had no strength. A normal horse, trapped in barbed wire, wouldn’t just give up.”
Hope was lifted onto her feet and within a few minutes she held her own weight.
Vikki advised Davies to put her into stables that day. But this advice was ignored and Hope was found collapsed again later that day.
The RSPCA was called to the scene and neighbours alerted Vikki.
The vet offered to take Hope off Davies’ hands, and after agreeing a price, Hope was taken to safety by Vikki that evening.
She said: “I have already shed a lot of tears over Hope. She needed a lot of love and care and attention.
“She was full of lice, mites and worms, and her feet were shocking. I was convinced she was going to have to be put to sleep, but she very slowly started to regain strength every day.
“We was extremely weak and malnourished. With good food and time she has come through.
“She has cost me thousands to nurse her back to health, but if I had left her, she would have died.”
Hope has just won the title of Overall Supreme Champion in the rescued horse class in a horse show. She is also expecting to start her riding preparation work in the next few weeks.