A FOAL who was rescued from a Leeds field with his skin being "eaten alive" by maggots will show off its amazing transformation at one of the country's biggest equine events this week.
Buggy, as he was named by rescuers, was helped by charity World Horse Welfare after he was discovered by a member of the public in a field with four other horses in Hillam, east of Leeds, in May last year.
The pony, who was then just a few months old, was in urgent need of veterinary attention - painfully thin and with a maggot infestation, which had developed in untreated wounds on his back and rump as a result of lice. He was so weak he could barely stand. Other horses were left without fresh water and in serious need of attention. After intensive treatment at Minster Vets in York he moved to World Horse Welfare's rehoming centre in Lancashire.
But now he is unrecognisable and will put his past behind him along with three other rescue ponies from World Horse Welfare at Equifest in Peterborough.
Also showing a transformation will be Floss, who was found in Bradford, weak and neglected at less than a year old. She is now flourishing in her ridden work and will be showing off her paces with her groom, Karen, at the competition.
Charlie, who was rescued in Sheffield, was underweight, suffering from worms and a severe lice infestation when he was discovered but is now a very handsome ridden pony who is brimming with confidence. The fourth pony, Hope was rescued from North Wales after her mother was unable to look after her.
All four ponies will compete in the PRP/RSPCA rescue classes at Equifest on Saturday, bidding for a place in the evening championship where just one will be crowned Equifest Rescue Pony Champion for 2017.
World Horse Welfare Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre Manager, Fran Williamson, said: “We are all so proud of the amazing recoveries these four ponies have made and I am very excited to see them perform at Equifest. Whatever placings they do or don’t receive at the show, we will still be celebrating what they have achieved given their difficult backgrounds and times they have encountered in their lives.
"On top of this, they are great ambassadors for World Horse Welfare and the high quality of horses and ponies we have ready for rehoming so I would ask anyone attending Equifest to make sure to give them the big round of applause they deserve.”