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Phantom’s Story

In 2016 we were part of a multi-agency team who rescued a herd of over 160 abandoned ponies on Bodmin Moor.

Some required urgent veterinary care and there were concerns for others that they wouldn’t survive the winter months.

One of the herd was Phantom, a beautiful foal who was born in a circumstance of abandonment – he had never known human interaction before.

He arrived at Bransby Horses as a young colt with serious health conditions and limited chances of survival.

Our teams, who were part of the Bodmin Moor rescue and looked after Phantom, give their accounts of his condition and rehabilitation below.

However, thanks to your continued support and our team’s expertise, time and love, Phantom is now thriving. He is forever safe.

To help more equines in need, you can


In return, you will be kept up to date with Phantom’s story.

Learn about his challenging rescue mission involving different animal rescue agencies, through to his lengthy rehabilitation process and eventual rehoming, discovering his many achievements and breakthrough moments along the way.

Please remember to include Gift Aid when making a donation, if you are eligible; it costs you nothing and boosts your gift to us at no extra cost.

Phantom Grazing

£6 a month can provide feed and forage for equines in our care, currently over 300.

Give £6 a month

“I love that you rescue the animals and work so hard to get them back to looking well – that’s why I give monthly so you can continue doing just that.”

– Helen

Phantom and Hayley

£11 a month can provide essential vet visits and pain relief for our rescued residents.

Give £11 a month

“It’s great to be able to visit and see my regular donations go towards the horses. Shelters, paddocks, horses in good condition.”

– Mrs. Bannister

Our Welfare Team at work

£27 a month can provide financial support to our Welfare Team to rescue more ponies like Phantom.

Give £27 a month

“I like to know my monthly donation goes to care for those equines that cannot be rehomed.” 

– Anon

The Rescue

A Closer Inspection

The Rehabilitation

The Medical Journey Part 1

The Medical Journey Part 2

Ridden Training

A troubling trend over the last decade is the growing numbers of cases involving dozens if not hundreds of animals in need of rescue.

“It’s like trying to drain a bath with the taps still on.”  – NEWC, 2020, Britain’s Horse Problem Report.

Phantom’s story is just one of many examples we’re continuing to see more frequently across the country.

Instead of a monthly donation, we appreciate any support you can give. To make a one-off donation, please click below.


Thank you.

Phantom was just one of 160 abandoned equines from Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. He arrived in 2016 as a young colt, very small and afraid.  Having had no human interaction before, he was scared of his new surroundings and fearful of those that were caring for him.

He was in need of urgent veterinary assessment for a number of health conditions, including worm burden, colic and an ulcer.

Phantom spent a number of weeks in isolation, receiving essential care at our Animal Reception Centre. Thanks to our in-house testing facility and veterinary team, we were able to identify his health issues rapidly and act accordingly.

Join us for the rest of Phantom’s story when you become a regular giver.

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.”

Instead of a monthly donation, we greatly receive your support in a number of ways. To make a one-off donation, please click below.


Thank you.