Horse once unable to stand after years of neglect now a champion showjumper

September 28, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

A horse facing destruction after years of horrific neglect has become a champion showjumper- thanks to her caring new owner.

Corrie was left unable to stand after being left with severe malnutrition, a worm and lice infestation, a badly infected front right leg and bloated with worms.

Vets feared she was beyond help and believed that putting her down would be the kindest thing to do.

Corrie with Diane Lewis, who nursed the horse back to health after it had suffered years of neglect

Corrie with Diane Lewis, who nursed the horse back to health after it had suffered years of neglect

But Corrie has now made a full recovery – and has gone on to become a champion show jumper thanks to caring animal-lover Diane Stobbs, 42.

Mrs Stobbs spotted Corrie for sale in a local paper and travelled to see her but was horrified to find the animal at death’s door.

Corrie’s bridle had not been taken off since she was a foal and had become embedded in her face and infected.

Mrs Stobbs immediately bought the horse and immediately rushed her to the vets where she was told to put the animal down – but she refused and took Corrie home instead.

Over the next few years, she slowly nursed Corrie back to health at her smallholding on the Isle of Arran, Scotland.

Local schoolgirl, Jenner Wood, then 16, suggested breaking Corrie in for riding and entering her to a horse show.

To their surprise, Corrie – whose feet are so badly misshapen she cannot wear shoes – not only competed but finished with a rosette.

Withered: Corrie had malnutrition and could barely stand after nine years of appalling treatment

Withered: Corrie had malnutrition and could barely stand after nine years of appalling treatment

Over the last five years, the remarkable horse has gone on to win 24 rosettes – five of them firsts – in show jumping and riding competitions.

Mrs Stobbs said: “I was told to have her put down because she was in such a bad way.

“We had to cut off her tail and mane because they were so thick with lice and tangled.

“I have never seen anything like it. You could see every rib and she could barely support her own weight.

“We had to force her to stand because if a horse lies on its side for too long it starts to crush its own organs.

“I can’t even count how many times I rushed into her field thinking she was dead because she was just lying still on the ground.

“We eventually managed to get her stable and once we did that she became really lively.

“It took me two and half years to get her to stand still. I don’t know what had happened to her but she wouldn’t let anyone near her for a very long time.

“But since her show jumping successes I have been asked to sell her but she has no price tag. I’m so proud of her.”

Diane, who lives with her partner Colin Stobbs, 49, and daughter Bethany, 19, first set eyes on Corrie nine years ago on a farm in South Port, Merseyside, when looking to buy a horse.

But Diane was so shocked by the state of the young mare she immediately took her to a vet who gave the horse a grim prognosis.

Diane said: “From the first moment I saw her she had my heart. I couldn’t leave her there.

“She was so dirty you couldn’t see what colour she was, her feet were twisted and she had maggots dripping from a wound in her leg.

“I bought her then and there without even telling my partner. I just couldn’t leave her to die, which is what would have happened.

“I called a vet that I knew but her examined her and told me to have her put down.

“We got her home and found her bridle was too small and was so embedded in her face we had to cut it off with pliers. It was horrendous.

“It took us months to de-worm her because she was riddled and she lost so much weight because of the damage it had caused to her stomach.”

Diane fed Corrie a high fibre diet to help weight gain and decided to break her in after three years, with the help of Jenner, now 22.

Jenner and Corrie worked together for two years, until 2008, when they entered into the Arran Farmers show and finished with a rosette.

Over the next five years, Corrie and Jenner went on to win five firsts, four seconds, six thirds and seven fourths in the ridden and jumping categories at the event.

Jenner has now moved to Edinburgh and Corrie, now 10, has a new rider who is hoping for more success.

Mrs Stobbs added: “They have been a great team, I hope her new rider will do just as well.

“Corrie is my pride and joy, I love her to bits. She’s a member of the family.”

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