Categories: Latest News, Rescue Stories396 words1.5 min read

33 Equine Saved From Cruelty and Neglect


December 2, 2019



In December of 2014 Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA) rescued thirty three equines forming our largest ever Rescue. Although many of the equines were in a satisfactory condition with no immediate welfare concerns, had HAPPA not intervened the result could have proven to be disastrous. The owners had been trying to cope with huge financial burdens.
When taking on a Rescue of this size, the Centre had to assess and think on their feet to ensure the continuation of operations and the smooth running of the yard. Our newly build Isolation and Assessment Unit housed the stallions, the Walter Bartley Building housed the remaining horses, with The Blue Cross helping and collecting a number of horses from us.

The Rescue itself was challenging in many ways, eight of the horses were entire, stallions, and on arrival at the Centre the staff were instructed to organise castration. Castrating older horses can cause complications, due to the maturity of the horse and tend to require a general anaesthetic for this procedure to be carried out.

Laura Brown, Equine Development Officer, said ‘At the time you don’t really consider the amount of equines we took on, you just get on with the job at hand. They need your help and you make room for them, it’s not until things start to settle down you think about the task that you undertook, as you think 33 is a lot when you already have 40 on site.’
One of the young colts, at the time, HAPPA Elf was one of the horses to be castrated. After his initial settling in period he then had to learn ‘how’ to be a horse. Many people take this as a natural instinct within their horses, many stallions within the industry have a fabulous life, however HAPPA Elf needed to understand; what grass was, how to interact with other horses and how to live a life of relaxation, respect of human life and enjoyment of being a young horse.

Some years on and HAPPA Elf has grown and matured into stunning horse. He has since been out at a home and enjoyed socialising within a herd and family environment.