Basil makes good recovery

Basil the pony is ready for the winter following a speedy transformation at a Norfolk rehabilitation centre.

World Horse Welfare, at Snetterton, rescued the 13.1hh gelding just before Christmas last year from a field with no food or water and in freezing conditions.

This year he has made such good progress that he is the focus of the charity’s Christmas fundraising appeal.

Field officer Jacko Jackson visited the site accompanied by the police, a vet and an RSPCA inspector when Basil was rescued and said: “We initially received a call from a concerned member of the public and when we then visited the site and saw Basil, he was shivering so much that it was almost impossible to examine him.

“He had icicles hanging off him because there was absolutely no heat left in him. It was minus 4 degrees with freezing fog; I was frozen, so I dread to think how he was feeling.”

Basil was found on about a quarter acre of fenced land with no grazing and was half his normal body weight, infested with lice and frozen to his core. Now though, one year on, he is going from strength to strength.

Assistant manager at the World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm, Justina Smith, said: “Basil has responded really well to our care so far, he has put on a lot of weight and he looks fantastic. He’s quite laid back, but he can also be quite cheeky. He’s good with other horses and likes to play with the other youngsters in his field.

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“We are now about to start doing some core stability work with him and hopefully, if he reacts well, we can potentially put him up for rehoming next year.

“During the winter months we see an increase in the number of neglected and vulnerable horses that need our help. While Basil will be spending Christmas safe and warm at Hall Farm, we hope people are inspired by his story and respond generously to our appeal to help us protect other less fortunate horses this winter.”

Details of the appeal are online at christmaspresent

For details about the horse rehoming scheme, visit