TWO underweight and parasite-infested cob-type ponies abandoned in ‘desperate’ surroundings are being nursed back to health at a horse resc- ue centre.

The pair were rescued by HAPPA, at Shores Hey Farm, Burnley, earlier this month. They were alerted to their plight after a call made to the charity by a passer-by.

Equine inspector David McCormick said: “Concern had grown about these young ponies which had been plac-ed in a field some months ago with other horses.

“Someone had been checking on the group to see if any owners came to tend to them, but there appeared to be no-one taking responsibility for their welfare.

“The biggest concern was the extremely busy road next to the field. The other ponies in this field had broken out and run loose on the road.

“Since then they had been moved, but these two young colts had been left behind.

“No-one knew who had moved the other ponies and there were no claims of ownership.”

The HAPPA rescue team responded, and transported the animals from West Lanc-ashire to the centre to begin rehabilitation.

The two young colts are estimated to be about a year old.

They are on a rehabilitation programme as they were underweight, and badly infested with lice.

The young ponies, who are yet to be named, will be with HAPPA for at least three years before they are old en-ough to rehabilitate, be schooled and rehomed.

The newest residents join 55 other equines at the centre.

The cob-type ponies are known for their good temperament.

“These ponies are sadly typical of the problem that we have to address,” said HAPPA’s Amanda Berry.

“Fly grazing, which is where equines are grazed on land without permission of the owner, is a problem which is increasing.

“Often these animals are abandoned without an owner coming forward. They are usually young uncastrated males, such as these, which have little, or no, value in the equine trade.”