A piece of training equipment has been bought to help train emergency response teams for horse-related incidents.

Southwest-based charity The Mare and Foal Sanctuary successfully raised more than £9,000 through a special crowd funder to purchase the kit.

The acquired item is a uniquely designed horse mannequin named 'Max', created by UK-based company Resquip, to educate on efficient large animal rescue.

Max is a full-size, fully articulated replica with realistic joint movement and muscle structure.

It will simulate practical scenarios of large animal recovery; from trenches, cliffs, ditches, and situations involving water and mud entrapment.

Collaborating with The British Animal Rescue & Trauma Care Association (BARTA), The Mare and Foal Sanctuary organised the inaugural session of what they hope will be a series of training days for sharing best practice.

Training delegates from the sanctuary, Tor Equine, and Kernow Farm & Equine Vets engaged in practical outdoor rescue situations, guided by experienced trainers.

Syra Bowden, The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s head of equine welfare, said: "The first training session was an opportunity for members of the Sanctuary’s Welfare Outreach and Advice team and local vets to learn basic rescue techniques.

"We feel it was a big success because it gave us the chance to practice potentially life-saving manoeuvres in a safe environment."

Midweek Herald: The mannequin was used to train for a range of scenariosThe mannequin was used to train for a range of scenarios (Image: Mare and Foal Sanctuary)

Syra Bowden further explained that rescues involving large animals such as horses and ponies are hazardous, potentially leading to equine death and injuries to rescue team members.

Therefore, practicing realistic scenarios in a controlled environment is a matter of significant importance.

Max, the horse mannequin, played a pivotal role in the training, aiding in demonstrating various rescue techniques.

Syra expressed gratitude to the supporters for funding the kit and expressed certainty that their generosity will indeed save equine lives in the future.

Syra added: "We plan to work more with BARTA in the coming months and to invite other emergency teams from right across the Southwest to benefit from this training.

"Many Category 1 responders have very little experience of working with equines, so we are keen to share our professional knowledge for the best outcome in critical rescue situations."

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary took the occasion to express its gratitude towards all who collaborated in the training and demonstrated a commitment towards upholding the highest echelons of equine welfare and education.

The Sanctuary’s first ever crowdfunder campaign, which was launched last autumn, exceeded the initial £8,802 target reaching £9,289.

The campaign witnessed an exceptional donation of £175,000 by Lesley Willan in tribute to her friend Jeff Ward.

In recognition of this outpouring of love and support, the charity asked Lesley to name the mannequin, which she named Max, after Jeff’s late dog.