Vanilla: the flavour of horse campaign

A little more than a year ago, Vanilla the piebald cob mare was discovered emaciated and ill, only a stone's throw away from the headquarters of a Norfolk horse charity.

A little more than a year ago, Vanilla the piebald cob mare was discovered emaciated and ill, only a stone's throw away from the headquarters of a Norfolk horse charity.

But now 12 months after being rescued, the neglected 10-year-old horse is set to become the face of the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) at Snetterton.

Officials hope the sweet natured mare will help raise thousands of pounds for her own rehabilitation and that of other abused and uncared for horses after becoming the Norfolk charity's adoption horse.

When Vanilla was found a year ago, she was extremely thin and nervous, with overgrown feet and painful sores all over her body in a field close to the ILPH's Hall Farm headquarters.

After making a full recovery and regaining a third of her body weight, the mare is now beginning an intensive rehabilitation course, which officials hope will lead to a successful re-homing as a riding horse.

Claire Phillips, ILPH groom, said Vanilla's owner was never found, but new animal welfare laws that come into force next week will enable authorities to step in earlier and seize neglected animals before they suffer unnecessarily.

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“When Vanilla first came to us, she was in a dreadful condition and it has taken her a year to return to full health,” she said. “It is quite shocking and appalling that a horse was in that condition on our own doorstep.

“Vanilla is a good example of the work we do at the ILPH and she has a superb temperament, so she will be able to cope with all the attention from the adopters who want to see her.”

For £5 a month, adopters will help pay for Vanilla's rehabilitation and the care of some of the 150 other horses at Snetterton and will receive a welcome pack, photos, and regular updates on her progress.

for more information about the adoption scheme, call 01953 497227 or visit www.ilph.org.