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Horse ‘rarer than a giant panda’ found dead as breeder left ‘devastated’

A horse which was described as “rarer than a giant panda” was found lying bed by their breeder after an innocent mistake by a member of the public.

The mare, which was pregnant, was found dead in a field in Wales after suffering from either stomach problems or choking.

Nant Loyw Harmony, 16, was a rare Cleveland Bay breed of horse.

Breeder William Medforth, 34, described the loss of the mare as “devastating” as he blamed an “ignorant” passerby for the tragedy.

He said: “This is a breed rarer than the giant panda.

“So to lose one of our most prolific brood mares and her unborn foal is not just devastating for our breeding programme, it’s damaging for the breed as a whole.”

There are less than 1,000 Cleveland Bay’s left in the world.

“I drove past the field on my way to work and saw her lying in the field,” Medforth continued.

“Evidence suggested someone had tossed food items over the gate and she had died of colic or perhaps choke.

“Patches of grass nearby had been extensively grazed, a sign she had been scouring food items from the ground.

“There also appeared to be remnants of peelings at the edges of these patches.

“Harmony loved her food, so it’s likely she ate the majority of what she was given.”

Medforth criticised Britons for feeding horses without permission from their owners.

He said that he had even put up signs pleading with people not to give food to Nant Loyw Harmony.

The notices were erected after hge previously lost another horse which has been fed by strangers.

In 2020, an 18-month-old gelding collapsed after being fed.

The frustrated breeder said: “Over winter, there’s less grass on the ground and fields can be a little muddy, so some people might think horses and livestock aren’t getting enough food.

“Others might just think it’s a nice idea to feed a pretty horse. But our horses are well looked after, they’re fed a balanced diet. If anything, they’re fed better than we are.

“Why do the general public think it’s OK to feed livestock without permission? They wouldn’t walk up to someone and feed their dog chocolate or grapes, which are poisonous to them.

“People might think carrots are okay for horses but, cut the wrong way, they can cause choke. So please don’t interfere with their diets, you might be killing them with your ignorance.”

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