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Phoenix the foal fighting for life at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk after barbaric arson attack on stables near West Kingsdown


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A foal which suffered horrific burns in an arson attack is still fighting for its life.

Seven-week-old colt Phoenix escaped the blaze when arsonists attacked a stable in Ash near West Kingsdown earlier this month.

Phoenix the foal being treated at Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Image supplied by Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Phoenix the foal being treated at Redwings Horse Sanctuary. Image supplied by Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Sadly a pony died in the attack but Phoenix survived thanks to emergency care at Lingfield Equine Vets in Surrey, and has since been moved to Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Hapton, Norfolk.

Redwings says Phoenix had burns across one whole side of his body resulting in him losing most of his foal hair and his mane, and leaving him with painful sores.

They say the whereabouts of the foal's mother is unknown, but that he has been put in stables next to a mare named Mildred, a permanent resident at the sanctuary, to provide him with company and act as his surrogate mother in time.

Nic de Brauwere, head of welfare & behaviour, said: “It’s heart-breaking that anyone would target any animal, but particularly such an innocent foal with such a barbaric act of cruelty. Luckily, he ended up at Lingfield who have given him every chance to survive. Phoenix’s condition was very touch and go for a few days, but he started to respond to treatment - his progress no doubt helped by his strong little character and the affection and skill of his carers at Lingfield.

“Even if he pulled through his initial treatment, it was clear he would need to be somewhere that could provide long-term intensive care, as well as a new permanent home, so we were only too happy to help. We decided to fund his treatment at Lingfield, and only once he was strong enough to cope well with the journey, was he carefully transported to the Redwings Horse Hospital by our team.”

Phoenix on arrival at Redwings. Image supplied by Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Phoenix on arrival at Redwings. Image supplied by Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Phoenix is currently receiving around-the-clock care in the sanctuary's ICU stables, and senior veterinary surgeon Nicky Jarvis, head of veterinary services, said the injuries would take an extensive amount of time to heal.

She said the foal would probably be left with a lot of scarring, adding: "His burns cover the whole left side of his body, including his legs, and they’re obviously very painful as he struggles to lie down in his stable. Our focus now is making sure his wounds are cleaned and dressed frequently and to help ease his discomfort with pain relief, which is happening around-the-clock thanks to the dedication of our wonderful vets and nurses here at Redwings.

“Phoenix still has a long way to go – while his condition is stable, he is certainly not out of the woods yet – but happily he is eating and drinking well, he appears alert and is super-friendly despite his ordeal. We’re keeping all our fingers crossed for him.”

Redwings Horse Hospital and skilled vet team are funded entirely by donations from the public.

To support their work text RESCUE 20 to 70085 to donate £20 (texts cost the donation amount plus one standard rate message), call 01508 481000 or click here.

Phoenix the foal is being treated for burns sustained in an arson attack. Image supplied by Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Phoenix the foal is being treated for burns sustained in an arson attack. Image supplied by Redwings Horse Sanctuary

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