‘No one will ever hurt them again’: Meet the horses rescued from animal testing and brought to new Manchester home

By Danielle Wainwright

As ten majestic horses gallop free through the fields of Manchester, it’s only their eyes that betray the horror they endured while living in an animal testing lab.

Fitted with microchips and used for their blood, the six to eight-month-old horses have had to adapt to life outside of the labs where they have lived most of their lives.

And their rescuers CARE, an organisation dedicated to stopping animal experimentation, have spent every day since ensuring their release to helping them understand that no one will ever hurt them again.

Founder of CARE Vicky Fraser, who described the horses living conditions as ‘a test tube’, collected the horses with three other people.
BEAUTY: Lola is still warming to people

And now the horses, nicknamed Walter, Isaac and Odie to name a few, have settled into their peaceful new home and are enjoying their new-found freedom..
EXPERIMENTS: The horses had numbers glue to their skin

Victoria said: “All of the ponies were terribly scared. They aren’t even old enough to have grown a tail!

“Some are coming round quicker than others but all are making progress now they are beginning to understand that no one is going to hurt them again.

“It’s important to take gentle tiny steps to gain their trust.”

When Vicky collected the horses they had several patches where they had been clipped to take blood and had numbers glued to their coats.

“When we took the photos of the horses they grouped up the second you go near to them in their stable. It’s as if they think hiding their faces makes them safe. Try and move them and they get freaked. This has to be the most heart-breaking part,” she said.
RECOVERY: Lola and Lottie are best of friends

Since the horses were transferred each one of the gentle giants have developed their own personality and habits

“Walter started out totally terrified but is slowly gaining confidence,” Vicky said.

“He really is the most beautiful foal ever.  He has huge eyes and tiny ears so looks like a toy pony. He wants to be your friend but just can’t overcome the fear yet. He is trying his very best to be brave.”

Isaac, the youngest of the group, is much smaller and weaker than the others but he makes up for this in curiosity.  

However he is still too scared to be touched.
FIGHTING SPIRIT: Odie loves to play bite

“Odie is a gremlin!” said Vicky. “He plays biting all the time. He has come round so fast it’s untrue but with a fighting spirit.
CLUMSY: Gentle Vinnie

“Vinnie is a clumsy gentle baby. He just accepts everything with a sad resigned air but is beginning to play and loves food!”

Even though some of the horses included Edward and Lester were traumatised, they are fast gaining confidence and are learning to trust their carers.

Vicky added they are unable to be photographed as it is hard to get close to them with a camera.

Other horses including Ida and Tilly are showing a shy and sweet side but can’t quite find the confidence to join in or be fussed yet.

“Lola she is coming on leaps and bounds,” Vicky added.

“She is going to be a true show girl and little diva when she comes out of her shell!

“Little Lottie is glued to Lola and is very shy. She watches everything though and is getting more curious by the day.”

CARE’s work is growing every day and their plight of animals used in research, particularly during their recent Let Them Know its Christmas event in Macclesfield, is helping the organisation save more animals. 

For more information, visit their website here.

Pictures courtesy of CARE, with thanks.

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