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The upcoming Equifest – East of England Horse Show will feature four very special ponies rescued and rehabilitated by World Horse Welfare. All have made amazing recoveries thanks to the UK-based charity, but none so much as Buggy. The young colt “is now unrecognizable from the listless, emaciated pony he was,” according to a WHW representative. Come Saturday he will have the opportunity to show his incredible transformation to the world.

Buggy’s story is not for the faint of heart. He was just a few months old when he was discovered last June in West Yorkshire by a good Samaritan. Poor Buggy was infested with maggots due to an untreated case of lice. He was covered in sores and so weak he could barely stand.

Upon seeing the pony’s urgent condition, the concerned citizen immediately contacted World Horse Welfare. A Field Officer for the charity arrived soon after, followed by a veterinarian, an RSPCA Inspector, and the local police. Buggy was immediately seized from his owners under the Animal Welfare Act.

Sarah Tucker of WHW described what she saw on that first day:

“As I walked over to the pony, the smell was absolutely putrid even from six feet away. I could hear the maggots making a ‘crackling’ sound as they burrowed through his skin. It was like his skin was moving as he was so covered in them and he understandably looked very uncomfortable and dejected.”


Buggy was taken to the Minster Equine Veterinary Clinic in York where he received urgent treatment to clear his skin of maggots. He was also placed on IV fluids to help rebuild his strength.

“I would say this is one of the most horrific cases of neglect that I’ve seen in the years I’ve worked for World Horse Welfare,” Tucker added. “It’s shocking to think that Buggy has been left in this terrible condition for and that if he’d been found just one or two days later it would have been too late.”

Once stabilized, Buggy was taken to World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Lancashire where he slowly grew into the gorgeous, healthy pony he is today!

This weekend Buggy will compete in the Rescued Equine class along with three other WHW rescues.

Floss was found “weak and neglected” at less than a year old but is now “flourishing in her ridden work.” Charlie was discovered underweight and crawling with parasites but is now a “very handsome ridden pony who is brimming with confidence.” And Hope is a “beautiful yearling who has flourished and has a bright future” despite losing her mother as a tiny foal last September.

All four will strut their stuff at Equifest this Saturday and one will be crowned rescue pony champion.


H/T to Horse & Hound

Featured Images via Facebook/World Horse Welfare

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