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Rufus is right as rein

PUBLISHED: 15:47 20 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

Rufus the horse has had a remarkable turnaround in fortunes - from a cruelty case as little more than skin and bone to being well on the way to a full recovery.

CANTERING across a field, this happy horse pauses for a second to catch up with the latest news – about himself!

Rufus is reading all about his remarkable turnaround in fortunes in The Evening Star – from a cruelty case as little more than skin and bone to being well on the way to a full recovery.

The three-year-old male horse was neglected in an Ipswich field, but will now find it hard to recognise himself from RSPCA photographs that were taken just a few months ago.

Rufus is instead enjoying a fresh start to life in Norfolk and when he isn't posing for the cameras, he happily spends his days grazing or playing in the field with his new stablemate, Lorca.

The Evening Star reported on Wednesday how Rufus had lost a considerable amount of weight after being neglected by his owner Julia Coe.

She was prosecuted at a court hearing in Ipswich for neglecting him and banned from owning horses for five years.

After being rescued by the RSPCA, Rufus was swiftly re-homed and is now living a life of luxury in Whissonsett, near Fakenham.

His new owner, Vicky Riseborough, was shocked by the photographs showing Rufus in his emaciated state, but the 25-year-old said he is getting back to full health.

Miss Riseborough had been looking for a horse when she was contacted by the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH).

She said: "I was looking for a horse and when I saw Rufus I fell in love with him."

Miss Riseborough added that since Rufus had been in Norfolk, he had put on a lot of weight and should be fully fit in about six months time.

When he has made a complete recovery, she said he could be used in show jumping events and ridden at a nearby riding school.

She said: "He is still a bit thin on top but his mane should soon grow back completely."

Inspector Lorraine Williams of the RSPCA said it was good to see that Rufus was making progress.

She said: "Keeping a horse is not like a normal pet because they are so expensive. When people are deciding to own a horse it means they are accepting full responsibility for the horse's welfare.

"Owning a horse is a financial and time-consuming commitment.

"People should consider before embarking on purchasing a horse. They might want to consider shared ownership or loaning a horse to find out what it's all about really."

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