Frozen pony found near Wisbech is on road to recovery

When concerned passers-by spotted a shivering pony tethered near a busy main road they couldn't have known how close to death he was.

The young colt had been left in poor condition outside during the coldest December in 100 years and was slowly freezing to death. It was only the kind hearts of strangers which saw him rescued and given the chance of a new life.

At around two years old, Basil, as he has been named, now has the chance to make someone a loving companion. He may even be able to be broken-in and ridden by children if he recovers well enough in the long-term.

Jacko Jackson, an experienced field rescue officer for World Horse Welfare (WHW), said Basil had been as close to death as it was possible to be and it had been touch-and-go.

'Because he was in such a bad way he could not stand the cold and was shivering so much it was almost impossible to check his breathing rate,' he said.

'I was with the vet when he checked the pony over, and he was in the very last stages before the end. He would never have made it if we hadn't got to him.'

The pony, a native colt, was found near the A47 at Walpole Highway in an area known as Rotten Row.

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Efforts to trace his owners have, so far, proved fruitless and if the pony is not claimed within 28 days of being found then he will belong to WHW.

Basil, named by staff at the Snetterton headquarters of the charity where he is now recovering, spent several days under a heat lamp in a cosy stable to warm him up.

Now he is able to maintain his body temperature, but is still underweight and is just at the beginning of his long road to full recovery.

'He is getting the very best care and is in the best place, so his future is a lot brighter,' said Jacko.

If no owner is found then Basil will spend the rest of his life as part of the WHW family, although when he is recovered again he may be available to be fostered by caring owners so he can enjoy life to the full once more.

'He will be a lovely pony and now he has the chance of the future he deserves,' said Jacko.

n For further information about WHW visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org.