Not only did Lou look after Phantom when he first arrived at the charity in 2016, she was also part of the multi-agency rescue team that attended the abandoned herd:
“There were numerous groups of horses grazing on the Eastside of the Moor. A lack of robust equine identification and local legislation had led to ponies being abandoned or grazing illegally on Bodmin Moor and it was difficult to identify who they belonged to. This number of horses, which included many stallions and breeding groups became more challenging to manage especially when coupled with poor grazing and adverse weather conditions. It became clear that a number of ponies were struggling to survive and we had many and varied welfare concerns reported .
“It was clear the rescue was going to be challenging as the horses were spread over a vast area, many were unhandled and fearful of humans. It was a multi-agency operation, working together to round up, assess and rescue the group of horses.
“One of the groups identified was a herd of 8 young colts who were all emaciated, one of which was Phantom. We herded them into makeshift pens, then horses were fed hay and given water whilst a team of vets checked for any immediate medical concerns before being carefully loaded onto transport.
“On arrival at Bransby Horses, we found that Phantom was aged three years old, he was very underweight with a body condition score of 1 – emaciated. As well as needing careful nutrition to increase his weight safely to a healthy level, he also needed treatment for a high worm burden, a lice infestation and overgrown hooves.
“Physically he recovered well with time, treatment and care. He was inquisitive but very timid and fearful of human contact so immediately began a specialist handling programme to help him learn to trust people to ensure essential health checks, dental and farriery visits could be carried out safely for both him and the teams.”