‘I’m determined to keep him alive’ North Norfolk rare horse owner’s fundraising plea after horrific accident

Helen Chester with her young Clydesdale horse, Maverick, who severely injured a leg last year when h

Helen Chester with her young Clydesdale horse, Maverick, who severely injured a leg last year when he was chased into electric fencing by a stray dog. She and her partner have ploughed their life savings into his treatment and he came very close to having to be put down. All was going well until just before Christmas when, still in his bandages, he tripped and the wound ruptured. They now need about another £5,000 for his continuing treatment and have launched a fund-raising appeal. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Helen Chester has spent all her savings fighting to save the life of Norfolk's only Clydesdale horse - and is now appealing for help to continue the battle.

Helen Chester with her young Clydesdale horse, Maverick, who severely injured a leg last year when h

Helen Chester with her young Clydesdale horse, Maverick, who severely injured a leg last year when he was chased into electric fencing by a stray dog. She and her partner have ploughed their life savings into his treatment and he came very close to having to be put down. All was going well until just before Christmas when, still in his bandages, he tripped and the wound ruptured. They now need about another £5,000 for his continuing treatment and have launched a fund-raising appeal. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Every day Miss Chester relives the horrific moment she saw her beloved foal in agony, wrapped in live electric fencing.

Maverick, a rare Clydesdale heavy horse, is thought to have been chased into the fencing by a stray dog seen in the area.

Miss Chester, 40, of Wiveton, near Blakeney, knew instantly that something was seriously wrong.

'When I saw him I broke down, devastated,' she said. 'I was physically sick.

Maverick in his stable with his bandaged hind leg. Picture: SUBMITTED

Maverick in his stable with his bandaged hind leg. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

'I remember running across the field to him. His hoof was bent back. I thought he had broken his leg and he would have to be put to sleep.'

Fortunately Maverick's deep wound stopped a few millimetres short of severing his back tendon, which would have led to him being put down.

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However, his injuries were still severe and Miss Chester and her partner David Carpenter have spent their life savings of £10,000 on the horse's treatment.

But a major setback just before Christmas has seen 21-month-old Maverick return to square one.

Now Miss Chester, who has no money left, has launched a £5,000 fundraising appeal to pay the weekly £250 cost of a vet cleaning the wound and changing Maverick's bandages.

She is also launching a Maverick's Legacy charity to help her own pet, and, she hopes, other horse owners in similar situations.

Maverick's original accident, on August 30 last year, left his left hind leg with a bone-deep, two inches-wide cut at the front which severed his tendon, and a cut down to the tendon sheath at the back.

He underwent surgery at a specialist hospital in Newmarket and was recovering well until he tripped in December, rupturing his wound.

So far Maverick's treatment has cost about £15,000 and Miss Chester, who runs a carriage-driving business using her other horse, a Gypsy Vannah called Chester, said he would need weekly vet's visits for up to five more months.

'I'm determined to keep him alive,' she said. 'Not only is he my beloved pet but he's Norfolk's only Clydesdale and one of a rare species. He's also going to be a very big character in north Norfolk when I start using him in my carriage-driving business.'

'Before his accident he was regularly out at shows and took second place in his class at the last Royal Norfolk Show.

'He pays me back every single day. He's one of the kindest souls I've ever met.'