Foal savaged by Staffordshire bull terrier makes incredible recovery to win national pony prize


Then: Foal Bertie was left for dead after being savaged by a dog at a farm in Lancashire

A foal that was left for dead after being savaged by a Staffordshire bull terrier has won a prize in a national riding contest following a miraculous recovery.
Neglected Bertie was just eight months old when he was attacked by his owner's dog in the field he lived on with his emaciated mother, Kiwi.
The young horse sustained serious wounds and developed blood poisoning after being mauled by the vicious dog, but his callous owner simply left the chestnut warmblood cross to suffer rather than calling a vet.

Now: Bertie and rider Daisy Shufflebottom, 21, won a rosette in a national riding competition, following the plucky horse's 'miraculous' four year journey back to health

By the time Bertie was rescued by animal welfare investigators his injuries were so serious a vet was on the brink of putting him down - but changed his mind at the last minute to avoid upsetting a child that was on the site.
Instead Bertie and his mother Kiwi - who was by then so thin her ribs were protruding dangerously - were taken to Shores Hey Farm rescue centre in Briercliffe, Lancashire, where they began a remarkable four-year journey back to health.
Now plucky Bertie has rewarded his new masters by winning a rosette at Equifest - a national competition for rescue horses.

Left for dead: Bertie was unable to stand and had developed blood poisoning by the time he was discovered by animal welfare investigators

Equine and data services manager Amanda Berry said staff from Shores Hey cried 'tears of joy' when Bertie took fourth place in the competition, ridden by 21-year-old rescue centre worker Daisy Shufflebottom.
'We're all so delighted with Bertie and how far he has come since the attack,' she said.
'He’s had to do such a lot in a short space of time to perform at Equifest with Daisy.

Emaciated: Bertie's mother Kiwi was severely undernourished when the horses were found by animal welfare officers - she too has been nursed back to health

'The atmosphere there was amazing and he wasn’t bothered by the flashing lights, noise and big crowd of people there. He just took it in his stride.
'When he did his performance in the daytime we knew that he had come in the top 10 but we didn’t know exactly where until later on.
'As they were counting down from 10 to one it was nail biting - and when his name was read out as fourth we went mad with excitement. There were many tears of joy.
'For a horse of his age and background that is such a massive achievement,' the 40-year-old added.

Reminder: Bertie is now the picture of health, but the horse's legs still bear the scars of the savage dog attack

Daisy Shufflebottom, 21, who rode Bertie in his successful outing at the four-day Equifest, hosted by the RSPCA in Peterborough, said: 'Bertie and I bonded straight away - he’s got a great temperament to work with.
'He can be quite cheeky occasionally but he’s great. I never expected to do as well as we did. It was a very big step for him.
'From where he was to where he is now is a dream come true.
'Bertie was one of the worst cases we ever had and now he’s doing amazingly well. He still has scars from the dog attack but he has recovered really well.'

'Miraculous recovery': Daisy Shufflebottom, pictured above on Bertie, took over the rescue horse's training in the spring

Picture of health: Bertie, pictured enjoying a ride with Daisy, has been described as a 'gentleman' by staff at the Shores Hey Farm rescue centre in Lancashire

source: dailymail