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Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back
 By Padfoot   •   4th Apr 2013   •   4,502 views   •   3 comments
It started around February 2008 when Leo was a two year old colt. He ran his first two races, finishing first in both. At the age of three he continued with racing, gaining two seconds place finishes and a third on top of his previous first places. When Leo was four he began to slow down and didn't have the same passion for racing as he used to. He turned on the stable hands, seriously injuring many of them. In an effort to calm him down he was subsequently castrated, but it didn't help.

Leo was eventually sold to someone who didn't have a clue about his background. Leo resisted going back into the stable thinking it would result in another race, so he was left outside 24/7. As a result he began to rapidly deteriorate. In 2010 he was under new ownership again. Zara still left him live outside, which he preferred, but slowly began to ease him into becoming a horse again.

In 2011 I was offered Leo on a full loan. Leo was a 17hh thoroughbred, being 5'2 I wasn't sure how this would work. I was coming from a push button 14.1hh New Forest pony. I reluctantly took on the large, green, six year old. After the first ride I fell in love.

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back
Leo The First Day Home With Me

Leo and I helped each other massively. Within two quick months we were jumping and hunting. Leo would even allow children on him while on lead and most importantly, he was going into stables on his own. Of course, I had to gradulally work up to this by tricking him with treats in the stall.

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back
Leo Being Grumpy In The Stable

When taking Leo hunting I had him in a loose ring snaffle. We started at the back of forty horses and within four strides we were at the front! I loved the day out, getting him used to horses passing him from all angles without spooking.

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back
First Time Hunting

I took Leo to his first show in August 2011 performing in 2'3 and 2'6. He went around clear in both rounds. In Race horse to Riding horse he finished 5th out of 15 and on best turned out Leo finished 3rd out of 10. He stood when told and ignored other horses. Needless to say I was extremely proud of him.

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back
Show jumping

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back
Casual No Reigns

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back

In September 2011 I found out he had back problems. Leo's owner took him back and sorted him out before being told he needed six months off. I visited him now and then but she unfortunately sold Leo the next year to what she thought was a good home.

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January 2013 Leo's previous owner, Zara, received a phone call from the yard owners that Leo did not have much time left. Leo was removed from the deplorable conditions and returned back to Zara. He was deathly thin with hooves severely over grown and could barely walk.

Disturbing Pictures Of Ex Racehorse Left To Die And Our Journey Back

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March 2013. The person who had bought Leo got prosecuted by the RSPCA and is now restricted from owning horses for 10 years.

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April 2013. I received a phone call from Zara asking me to meet her at her yard to see Leo again. When I got there I was offered him on loan for FREE on the promise that I bring him back to the way he was!

And I agreed.

I said I'd take on my little Leo again and bring an 8 year old ex-racehorse back to basics. I can't wait to start our journey again and I'm glad I'm there to help
PonyBox  MOD 
Thank you for sharing this with us.
  Apr 4, 2013  •  5,213 views
 
Uphill Climb  
Great article. Glad he has an owners to understand him :)
  Apr 5, 2013  •  4,947 views
 
Padfoot  
Leo passed away 20th November 2013 due to Colic, he survived the operation but died a few hours after sadly. At least he is out of pain now, that is the main thing.
  Dec 23, 2014  •  2,731 views
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