A pony saved by Uckfield-based Sussex Horse Rescue has ratcheted up nearly £5,000-worth of veterinary bills for the Hempstead Lane charity.
Pauline Grant, who runs Sussex Horse Rescue, stepped in to save two horses after their owner tragically died as he went to visit them.
John Chesher, 66, of Old Shoreham Road, Southwick was found lying in a field in Mile Oak Road next to the A27 on January 23.
Police did not treat his death as suspicious.
At the time a police spokesman said: “Indications are that he may have collapsed and died trying to free his horse entangled in barbed wire. The horse was freed and was uninjured.”
John’s daughter-in-law, Natasha rang Pauline and begged her to take the two horses into her care and said: “These horses have got to go.”
She told Pauline she was pregnant and lived some distance away near Horsham so felt she could not look after them herself.
Pauline’s son Daniel took the Horse Rescue horsebox and picked up the two animals on the same day.
Pauline has just contacted the Express to say she originally thought these horses would present no problems but went on: “How wrong I was!”
It turned out one of the horses, Swift, had a sarcoid, a small cancerous tumour, near his left eye.
After consulting the veterinary surgeon, Pauline’s other son, Michael, drove the Horse Rescue horsebox to Liverpool University’s Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital for treatment on November 13 and on December 11 Daniel travelled to Liverpool to fetch the horse back.
She went on: “The exhausting 12-hour drives have been worrying and expensive but Swift is slowly recovering.”
But now the charity has to bear the cost of the bill from the equine hospital - the sum of £4,903.28.