A FUNDRAISER has been launched to help pay for vital treatment for a rare pony living on a charity-run farm near Frenchay.
Eriskay pony Bella is a much-loved resident of Elm Tree Farm, run by charity Brandon Trust to provide work and training for people with learning disabilities.
Farm coordinator Lisa Allen said Bella was found to be unwell in September and X-rays revealed that one of the vertebrae in her neck had moved.
She was then taken to a specialist equine hospital in Hampshire, where it was found that the vertebra was also badly fractured.
Lisa said: “Bella was very lucky to have survived her original accident, thought by the surgeon to be a bad fall in the field.
“She now needs a further six months of medication and stable rest and then a further scan to assess healing.”
Lisa said Eriskay ponies are one of the UK’s rarest native breeds.
Bella and her sister Iona were donated to the farm when their previous owner died and his family learned of the work the farm had done with other rare breeds.
Lisa added: “Bella is one of only 120 mares of breeding age registered with the Eriskay Pony Society, so she has great genetic value for the future of her breed.
“We were hoping to breed from her this year. Obviously that will not happen now, but the surgeon has said that if she makes a good recovery she should be able to foal in future years.
“She is a very special pony and the people we support here have been very worried about her.”
The ever-rising veterinary bill has prompted the Brandon Trust to launch an online appeal to raise £4,000 towards Bella’s treatment.
The Elm Tree farm appeal can be found on Justgiving.com at tinyurl.com/3975tcph.