Wilma certainly looks the part in her early forays into showing classes and dressage competitions, but few who see her will realise she was a victim in Britain’s highest profile horse-abuse case.
Wilma was among more than 100 horses rescued from appalling conditions at Spindles Farm, in Amersham, in 2008.
She arrived at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Snetterton, Norfolk, in 2008 in an emaciated condition, covered in lice and suffering from strangles.
The eight year-old 14-hand black cob was nursed back to health and last August was successfully rehomed with Jan Cooper, who lives in Filby, Norfolk.
Cooper decided to visit Hall Farm after hearing about the charity’s rehoming campaign.
“I was looking for something around 14 hands and Wilma was there. It seemed a bit like fate, really.
“On the website it gave her age and height, but it did also state on there that she was part of the high profile Amersham rescue.
“When I actually went to the centre I asked if I could see the pictures from when she first came in.
“To see what World Horse Welfare has done in the first place to bring her to this point makes you think that it would be really, really nice to be lucky enough to rehome her and give her a lovely life for the rest of her life.”
Cooper has worked wonders with Wilma and has now started to take part in showing classes and dressage competitions.
She urges others to consider rehoming a horse.
“To feel like you can to make a difference to these horses is a real big bonus for me. It’s a real buzz point, something to talk about all the time. It’s a real feel-good factor, whether it was from an Amersham case or anywhere.”
World Horse Welfare deputy chief executive Tony Tyler said: “The case of Wilma just goes to show how we can give a horse who has suffered greatly a second chance in life.
“Seeing those horses being unloaded from the lorry after being collected from Spindles Farm in Amersham back in 2008, you perhaps wouldn’t have believed how much of a transformation they could make.
“Wilma is just one example of how we can turn around the life of a horse through the expertise and knowledge of our farm staff. It’s really rewarding to know that they are both giving each other so much pleasure, and I would therefore urge people to consider rehoming a horse or pony from World Horse Welfare.”
The charity has designed March as “Rehome a Horse month”.
More information: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/help-today/rehoming-horses