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Horse Mistaken for Cow after Developing Vitiligo Following Overbreeding, Abandoned in England

A horse in England’s Essex which was subjected to over-breeding that eventually left it with distinctive black and white markings on its face, was found abandoned in a field and due to its bizarre appearance, the rescuers’ thought they were sent to save a cow.

According to a report in Metro.co.uk, the horse named Minstral was left suffering with a skin condition called vitiligo. Experts believe the condition is because of over-breeding in horses. Due to the distinctive markings on the horse’s face coupled with a huge hernia on her belly, rescuers thought the creature to be a cow.

It was saved from a field in England’s southeast county of Braintree, Essex. Minstral had one of her eyes removed because of infection. The horse is now reported to be doing fine after she was shifted to a new home at a nearby horse sanctuary.

Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition that causes white and off-coloured patches on the skin losing their pigment. The condition, which many humans suffer from, can get severe with the inside of the mouth and nose losing their pigments among others.


The report also cited Sue Burton, owner of the sanctuary, as saying, “I first approached her from behind and I thought that she was a cow because the hernia looked like a great big udder, which was the result of overbreeding.”

“From the front, I honestly thought that somebody had painted her, she had white circles around her eyes and a lovely patterned muzzle,” she added.

She further added that Minstral is the first horse she has ever come across to suffer from vitiligo. And it needed to be given sun cream to help prevent her from being sunburnt when outside.

However, the vets and sanctuary workers were amazed to see Minstral pull through this tough ordeal, as many of them had predicted she would not live.

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