AN equine rescue charity says it has received a number of unconfirmed reports of thoroughbreds at risk following media reports this week of a case involving a mare who once sold for 240,000gns.
My Lovely Horse Rescue [MLHR], with bases in Kildare and Cork, discovered 11 malnourished horses in a Cork barn last year and including War Celeste, a six-year-old mare by War Front. Bred by Swettenham Stud, she was bought as a yearling by the China Horse Club but never raced. Her most recent appearance in a sale was in 2015 in England when sold for 15,000gns.
War Celeste was said to be emaciated when rescued but has since made a full recovery and has been rehomed.
According to The Irish Times, Gardaí are investigating a single suspect who had previously run the Cork farm but is since believed to have left the country.
Maddie Doyle, a volunteer with MLHR, told The Irish Field: “The War Celeste story has provoked an amazing response. Lots of people got in touch with offers of help and others called with information about other yards where horses may be at risk. We seem to be getting an increased number of calls relating to thoroughbreds.”
Founded in 2011 in Dublin, MLHR secured a farm on the Kildare/Meath border where it houses up to 100 rescued horses. The charity is run on a volunteer basis and relies on donations. “Our weekly hay bill can be up to €900 during the winter,” said Doyle. “Some businesses, such as Holmestead Saddlery, have been very kind to us but we would appreciate any help we can get.”