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Life could have been very different for Myrddin and the 14 other very young colts taken in from the Whispering Willows horse sanctuary. They were underweight, malnourished and suffering. Myrddin had a painful eye ulcer. Their situation was deteriorating day by day.
We took the colts in following a large multi-agency rescue involving a total of 137 horses in November 2019. 18 months later, in February 2021, the owner of the horse sanctuary, Sandra Stolp, pleaded guilty to four Animal Welfare Act offences relating to 22 horses at Swansea Magistrates Court.
Stolp admitted in court that her failure to adequately address the poor condition or injury of 22 horses led them to suffer unnecessarily – contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act. At sentencing, she was banned from keeping horses for ten years and told to pay £1,000 in costs.
On arrival at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary the young cobs were found to be underweight, malnourished and suffering with severe parasite burdens. Further veterinary tests showed many of them had significant liver damage and growth development issues, likely to have been caused by the absence of suitable forage, lack of nutrition and early separation from their dams.
It was clear that Myrddin was suffering from a painful infection in his right eye. He was separated into a stable of his own so that we could begin treatment. Myrddin was very nervous and frightened so it was difficult to get close to him, but our expert veterinary team were able to diagnose an ulcer in his eye. Myrddin was given eye drops three times a day and had to wear a UV mask to help the healing process.
After several months of treatment and regular veterinary check-ups Myrddin came off the eyedrops, although he still has to wear a protective fly mask in the summer months. His overall condition has significantly improved and he has now reached a healthy body weight.
Myrddin on arrival
Myrddin will soon be ready for a new home with one of our experienced Sanctuary at Home carers. He will be looking for someone to continue his education by showing him new things, but most importantly someone to love him.
A vitally important part of our work is to educate people about how to properly care for horses, including the costs in terms of time and money. This includes advising smaller equine welfare organisations who despite their size, have the same responsibility as larger charities like ours, to meet the needs of every equine in their care.