Neglected horse has new lease of life in Abonye

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A horse rescued a neglectful owner has found a new lease of life in Aboyne, and has even attracted Royal attention.

The horse was found off the A90 between Aberdeen and Blackdog.

Haggis was found riddled with lice, grossly overweight and showing signs of laminitis, an extremely painful and sometimes fatal condition affecting horses’ hooves.

After a stay at the charity’s Aboyne centre he was rehomed by Chloe McCutcheon.

Now he has met the Princess Royal at the charity’s Belwade Farm with Chloe where he took part in a demonstration for the Princess.

World Horse Welfare farrier, Donald Nicol was witness to the neglect that the miniature Shetland had faced.

He said: “His feet were curled right up with so much growth that he was walking right back on his heels. This forced him to roll his feet over onto the outside and made him twist his leg outwards.

“It wasn’t just his feet that were affected; the problem meant that he had large muscle build up above his hocks because of the way he had to walk to compensate for having his feet so long. Once I had trimmed back his feet, it still took him a long while to get used to walking normally again.”

Ramsay Duncan, a local vet from Woodside Veterinary Group, Aboyne examined the horse: “He was grossly overweight, a body score condition of 4 and a half, with 5 being grossly obese; you could barely feel any ribs. We needed to manage his diet carefully...”

Chloe is thrilled to have Haggis complete the family, she says: “Haggis has been a fantastic companion, they have so many benefits to your yard and just because they are a companion doesn’t mean to say that they’re not used.”

Haggis’s original owner was prosecuted and banned from keeping animals for life.