We are appealing for information after a pony was found dumped with horrendous injuries in Winterbourne near Bristol.

Watson the horse with burn injuries © RSPCAWatson, as he was later named by HorseWorld, was found on 8 June in a field on Old Gloucester Road.  He had horrific wounds on much of his body which appeared to be some kind of burns.

RSPCA Inspector Chris James attended and immediately called a vet and the police, who seized Watson.  Inspector James also contacted HorseWorld who collected the coloured colt and took him for treatment.

As well as the burns to his skin, Watson was suffering from an ulcerated mouth, he had lice and had no hair on half of his body.  He was thought to be just 18 months old.

Sadly Watson had to be put to sleep

Despite intensive veterinary care, Watson had to be put to sleep three days after he was found as he had extensive kidney damage.  It is not known if his injuries were caused by ingesting a toxic substance or if a corrosive fluid was poured onto his skin.

RSPCA Chief Inspector John Atkinson visited Watson at HorseWorld shortly after he was found.  He said:

“I had thought I’d seen everything until I saw the state this poor horse was in.  It was absolutely shocking to see his injuries and how much he’d suffered.


“He wasn’t microchipped and we have exhausted all efforts to find his owner so now we are making an appeal to anyone who might have information about what happened to this pony.


“This also highlights the problems we have in trying to trace the owners of dumped or cruelly treated animals.  By law all horses must be microchipped and have passports, but there are many irresponsible owners out there who just don’t bother.  These are the same owners who leave animals like Watson without treatment.  We need more enforcement of microchipping and passporting to bring such owners to account.”

He endured a short and miserable life

Jerry Watkins, HorseWorld’s National Welfare Director said:

“My heart went out to this poor little fellow who endured a short and miserable life.


“The only consolation was that we were able to relieve his suffering somewhat at the end.”

Anyone with information should contact our inspectorate appeal line in confidence on 0300 123 8018.

In 2012, we investigated 25,972 equine-related welfare complaints.  In the first quarter of 2013 we had already investigated 7,140 complaints.

We and HorseWorld, along with World Horse Welfare, Redwings, The British Horse Society and BlueCross, recently launched a report into the equine crisis faced by England and Wales:

Read the equine crisis report here

We can’t do it without you

We can only investigate cases like this with your help. Please donate online or Text RUBBISH to 70800 to give £5 today.