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ROAD TO RECOVERY; WALES Cruelty case horses thrive in new home.

Byline: By CARL BUTLER

THESE are the first pictures of horses treated with appalling cruelty who are now well on the road to recovery.

Two of the animals being cared for at World Horse Welfare's Penny Farm near Blackpool have had little foals as they look forward to a happier life.

On Thursday, Margaret O'Leary, 72, of Llangollen admitted eight charges of causing unnecessary suffering to eight of 81 horses she kept at two sites in Penycae, near Wrexham.

Wrexham Trading Standards, along with RSPCA, seized 45 of the horses.

The animal charity has them being taken care of at HACK, the charity horse sanctuary at Llay nearWrexham, at RSPCA sites in Shropshire and at Penny Farm.

A vet found some animals were infested with parasites - one died of massive infestation - while somewere emaciated and anaemic.

The vet said there had been "multiple failures" in their care by racehorse owner O'Leary, who was described as a "horse hoarder."

And without intervention more would have died, says the vet.

Yesterday the Daily Post went to see how some of the horses were getting along at the excellent facilities at World Horse Welfare - formerly known as the International League for the Protection of Horses.

It has taken on the care of 14 of the rescued animals, including two facing destruction orders.

Yard supervisor Tracey Fleming said: "When we received the horses they were unkempt, some underweight, all with heavy worm burden and lice infested and some requiring medical treatment.

"Two of the horses were in foal and they have successfully given birth.

Since they've been here they have all picked up and are looking really well and most of the time are out to grass.

Their condition has picked up. About six or seven are thoroughbred types."

She said they could only make comfortable the two facing destruction orders. "They have not been signed over to us so we cannot explore their condition any further," she said.

District Judge Andrew Shaw has granted an order which will allow Wrexham County Borough Council to dispose of 43 of the fit horses - other than by sale.

O'Leary, who will be sentenced on July 10 with a warning she could face jail or community service, has 28 days in which she can appeal the order.

The judge will also decide on July 10 whether to impose a ban on her keeping horses. If the disposal order on the fit horses goes ahead, Wrexham council will be in touch with various horse rescue centres to set about finding new, carefully vetted, homes for the horses.

Two other horses are sadly under a potential death sentence. Because of their pain, orders are being sought to destroy the two elderly horses because it is unlikely homes can be found.

But the judge has said he will wait until July 10 to make that decision.

carlbutler@dailypost.co.uk

Some of the 14 rescued horses being cared for at World Horse Welfare's Penny Farm near Blackpool

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Margaret O'Leary faces jail for letting horses get to this state
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 21, 2008
Words:510
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