Whilst monitoring the French ‘rescue’ forums over here, we saw to our dismay a racehorse from the UK, Corran Ard, at risk of going for meat.
On checking his details on the Racing Post site, we discovered that his last run on the 26th of March this year, was less than a month before his arrival on the site on the 20th of April.
His most recent trainer, Tim Vaughan, was promptly contacted and a series of emails ensued between us and the trainer’s assistant Mark Gichero, who assured us he was doing what he could to find out why the horse had ended up there.
Suddenly, on the 27th of April, the horse was taken off the site as no longer available. We then received an email from Mark Gichero saying that he had been in touch with his contacts in France who had assured him the horse would be found a home via them.
In the interim, after doing more research, we found other UK ex racers on that site from the same region of the UK. We alerted the BHA to the fact, and they have passed the details to their investigations team.
Imagine then, our surprise and horror when the horse reappeared on the website on the 15th of June, now at a lower price and in imminent danger of going to the abattoir.
We decided there was no time to waste. To ensure that the horse was given every chance of a future, but also very much to highlight the fact that this cross channel trade in unwanted UK horses and ponies to French dealing/meat yards is happening, we contacted the newspapers in the UK.
They in turn contacted Mark Gichero, who was understandably horrified that the horse had resurfaced back in the same place. After some discussion, Mark asked us how he could help to get the horse out of there, and generously funded his purchase price and transport costs. Corran Ard was collected on Monday 28th of June by ERF and now has his future secured with us.
He is a beautiful, sensitive horse who was obviously shell-shocked at the immediate change in his circumstances. Going from 5* treatment in a racing yard to being on the meat trail must have been bewildering and terrifying for him.
He will take some careful rehabilitation, he has been neglected to the extent that he was still wearing his racing plates when we collected him, over three months after his last race. Luckily, the attention being lavished on him was quickly accepted as his due, and the spark is back in his eye. The physical recovery will sadly take much longer.
You can read the Newspaper story in Wales Online.
We’ll update his progress in a couple of days. But just for the moment, here he is after a bath having a pick of grass.