Horse found with maggot-infested wounds wins rosette at equestrian show

Matty the cob when he arrived at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 2013. 

Matty the cob when he arrived at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 2013. - Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

A rescued pony who was found emaciated with maggot-infested wounds is now a rosette winner at the Norfolk Equestrian Show.

Matty the cob came to Redwings in 2013 at just eight-weeks-old, after a passer-by discovered him abandoned in a field in Norfolk and barely able to move. 

On arrival at the Sanctuary, Matty was severely dehydrated, very thin and with an untreated wound on his leg that was completely covered in flies and maggots.  

Matty the cob when he arrived at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 2013. 

Matty the cob when he arrived at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in 2013. - Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

A veterinary examination also discovered that maggots had entered his hoof capsule and were eating away at it from the inside, causing him extreme pain. 

If it hadn’t been for the swift actions of that member of the public and the Redwings Rescue team, he would have died in days. 


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But now, at seven-years-old, Matty has made a full recovery and is showing just what rescued ponies can achieve as he placed third in the “Rescue In-hand Class” at the Norfolk Equestrian Show on July 28. 

Redwings cob Matty with guardian Sarah Prior at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Redwings cob Matty with guardian Sarah Prior at the Royal Norfolk Show. - Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Guardian Sarah, who works as a veterinary surgeon at Redwings and played a key role in Matty’s recovery, said: “I’m so proud of Matty and our rosette.  

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“We haven’t been out showing much and to be here at the Norfolk Showground with so many other horses is very new to him. He did such a good job in the ring and a lovely trot for the judges.  

“I think Matty shows the joy of the process of rehoming. When he came to Redwings he was as sick as sick can be but, with the care he received, he made a full recovery and is now able to enjoy life in a home and opportunities like this to show what rescued ponies can do.  

“I’m glad the judges could see in him what I do – he is a lovely boy.” 

Redwings cob Matty with guardian Sarah Prior at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Redwings cob Matty with guardian Sarah Prior at the Royal Norfolk Show. - Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Sarah rehomed Matty as an unbacked project and she took on the responsibility of teaching him how to be ridden after he had received basic training at Redwings.  

Last year, she also offered a home to another Redwings rescued pony, a 23-year-old native cross Oak, to become Matty’s companion and the pair are now inseparable. 

To find out more about Redwings’ Guardianship Scheme and the rescued horses currently looking for new homes, please visit www.redwings.org.uk/rehoming

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