Prestigious award for Great Harwood vet who nursed neglected horse back to health

Prestigious award for Great Harwood vet who nursed neglected horse back to health

Hope with new owner Vikki Fowler

Hope as she was found in a field in Edgworth

First published in Hyndburn Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant picture editor

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.

Comments (7)

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11:48am Mon 5 Nov 12

Marla Singer says...

The small photograph on the right made me feel a mixture of outrage and sadness when I read this article last week. I'm thrilled to see this horse well and rehabilitated - well done Vikki - you should be very very proud of yourself - what a beautiful horsey! xxx
The small photograph on the right made me feel a mixture of outrage and sadness when I read this article last week. I'm thrilled to see this horse well and rehabilitated - well done Vikki - you should be very very proud of yourself - what a beautiful horsey! xxx Marla Singer
  • Score: 3

11:57am Mon 5 Nov 12

Elsie C says...

Fantastic, what a beautiful horse. How can someone do that to such an animal of such beauty?

It's lovely to hear that Vikki has nursed Hope back to good health, well done.
Fantastic, what a beautiful horse. How can someone do that to such an animal of such beauty? It's lovely to hear that Vikki has nursed Hope back to good health, well done. Elsie C
  • Score: 3

5:56pm Mon 5 Nov 12

Para Handy says...

What a fantastic achievement, a truly dedicated effort to get Hope well. The reward is worth far more than the cost of the horse's rehabilitation. Congratulations Vikki.
What a fantastic achievement, a truly dedicated effort to get Hope well. The reward is worth far more than the cost of the horse's rehabilitation. Congratulations Vikki. Para Handy
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Mon 5 Nov 12

madmare says...

Hope survived, when my friend and I also rescued a horse from this person, Fudge, sadly she didn't make it. Vikki and Hope are both amazing, strong willed and determined. Wishing them all the best for the future. Emma xx
Hope survived, when my friend and I also rescued a horse from this person, Fudge, sadly she didn't make it. Vikki and Hope are both amazing, strong willed and determined. Wishing them all the best for the future. Emma xx madmare
  • Score: 1

11:26pm Mon 5 Nov 12

retired one says...

Well done on your care and dedication to Hope. A lovely ending to a sad story.
I wish you both all the best.
Well done on your care and dedication to Hope. A lovely ending to a sad story. I wish you both all the best. retired one
  • Score: 0

12:15am Tue 6 Nov 12

Graham Hartley says...

It is so pleasing to see that a vet, hardened by training to accept that animal life is fragile and yet plentiful, so readily accepts such an uneasy burden.
It is so pleasing to see that a vet, hardened by training to accept that animal life is fragile and yet plentiful, so readily accepts such an uneasy burden. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Wed 7 Nov 12

maxcollie says...

Well Done Vikki .You are truly a caring vet
Well Done Vikki .You are truly a caring vet maxcollie
  • Score: 0

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