Starved and lice-ridden, rescued mare defies the odds


An emaciated pony mare who was riddled with lice when she was rescued from a field in Britain earlier this year gave birth to a filly foal who is thriving in the care of World Horse Welfare.

Violet was heavily pregnant when she arrived at Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Norfolk in March after being rescued from a field where two other ponies had already died.

Despite her terrible condition just three weeks later the little piebald mare produced a filly foal, who was named Rose. It was obvious that even in her own emaciated state, Violet had given Rose everything she could during her pregnancy. Rose proved to be much stronger than might have been expected, given her mum’s poor condition, but she did need some additional support during her first few days.

Violet’s groom, Megan Jarvis said: “Every day you’d see a difference with Violet, she was gaining happiness and health, and gaining trust in human interaction. Violet was putting on weight and condition and we were waiting for her to drop her foal.”

As Jarvis was leaving one evening she noticed Violet’s behaviour and thought she was about to give birth. Continuing to watch the camera trained on the foaling box through the evening, she realised that Violet was struggling and was able to raise the alert. “If we didn’t have the camera, I don’t think Rose would have been here today,” she said.

Violet on arrival at Hall Farm.
Violet on arrival at Hall Farm. © World Horse Welfare

Thanks to the help of expert vets and the charity’s dedicated grooms who carried out checks every two hours throughout the night for the first few days, Rose picked up and she was soon strong enough to go out in the field with her mother. Violet has been slowly and carefully gaining weight, having had a tooth removed to make chewing food a lot easier for her. Throughout everything she has continued to be a fantastic mother to Rose, really showing her strength of character and determination. Rose has inherited this too, and is busy growing into a feisty, strong filly, who rapidly won the hearts of all the Hall Farm team who have been involved in the pair’s care.

Rose is thriving and showing her character as she grows.
Rose is thriving and showing her character as she grows. © World Horse Welfare

“It’s fantastic to see Violet recovering so well, given the terrible state she was in on arrival,” said World Horse Welfare Field Officer Chris Shaw.

“The team has done a wonderful job nursing Rose through those precarious first few days and it’s incredible to see her going from strength to strength now. It’s safe to say that Violet’s life has been transformed since coming into our care – and the wonderful thing is that her foal, Rose, will only ever know love and kindness. Getting Violet and Rose to this stage has been a real team effort and that will continue until both are, hopefully, ready for rehoming.”

Rose takes a nap while Violet grazes at Hall Farm.
Rose takes a nap while Violet grazes at Hall Farm. © World Horse Welfare

Shaw said it was thanks to the charity’s generous supporters that such transformations were possible. “So if you might be able to spare £5 a month to sponsor one of four stableyards, please do consider it. Our stableyards are such a vital part of the recovery and rehabilitation process, providing a safe space for mares like Violet to give birth and for poorly foals to be cared for by our expert team, as Rose was.”

World Horse Welfare has four Rescue and Rehoming stableyards across the country. In addition to Hall Farm in Norfolk there are yards in Somerset, Lancashire and Aberdeenshire. Each has now reopened to the public.

Both Rose and Violet have come a long way in their time at Hall Farm.
Both Rose and Violet have come a long way in their time at Hall Farm. © World Horse Welfare

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One thought on “Starved and lice-ridden, rescued mare defies the odds

  • September 23, 2021 at 5:40 am

    First off they should hang people who abuse or mistreat innocent Animals they can’t fend for them selfs poor babys..

    Second so happy Violette was rescued and her baby rose was born happy and healthy thank God for

    World rescue AWESOME JOB ..


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