Now a prize-winning show pony, the horse was "left to die."

Orianna, Woody's handler, is 13 years old

A neglected horse that was "left to die" on a roadside in the Republic of Ireland is now a prestigious show pony.

When he was discovered last year lying across a pavement in County Tipperary, Woody, a stallion who was then seven years old, was in very bad health.

The young horse collapsed from exhaustion after participating in sulky racing, according to an eyewitness.

Sulky racing is not permitted on Irish public roads; sulkys are small horse-drawn carts that have historically been used for transportation and recreation.

On October 15, the Garda (Irish police) were called to Clonmel to assist the injured animal.

The My Lovely Horse Rescue branch in County Cork was then contacted by the police.

Volunteer Kelly Mellerick, who organized Woody's rescue, recalled, "I asked: 'Are we going to have a live horse here?'".

"Because it didn't appear well. " .

Woody was found collapsed on a kerb by GardaĆ­ (Irish police) last year

Last year, the Garda (Irish police) discovered Woody lying motionless on a kerb.

He was severely lacking in muscle tone, his ribs were clearly visible, and he was both dehydrated and quite worn out, Ms. Mellerick told BBC News NI.

She clarified that the undernourished horse was unprepared for the level of effort required of him by sulky racers.

The Garda received reports that the individuals involved had removed their trap and harness equipment, essentially left him there, and fled the scene. ".

Woody was returned to the charity's farm in Cork, where they began a feeding program in an effort to help him recover.

We had to do a lot of hand walking with him because both of his back legs were very swollen in order to keep him flexible and moving, Ms. Mellerick continued.

Woody's ribs were showing when he arrived at the farm

Once at their farm, the charity took pictures of the underweight horse.

To care for and rehome abandoned horses, the nonprofit relies on a network of foster parents.

Woody met 13-year-old Orianna, who desired a new pony, while he was recovering.

"I went into the yard and saw him and I thought, wow, he's definitely the one for me," the schoolgirl told BBC News NI.

He has the sweetest eyes and the most peaceful disposition. I was grooming him the entire time; he's a really wonderful pony. ".

Woody's new owner, a teen, is being assisted in training him by Kelsie Montague, who fosters horses for the charity.

He's so well-behaved, and he and Orianna have a real connection, according to Ms. Montague.

She "does everything," including grooming, bathing, and mucking out stables, in addition to spending her days with him in general. ".

Orianna and Woody

In County Cork, Woody now resides close to Orianna's ancestral home in a field.

The horse made a remarkable recovery with the help of Orianna and his handlers over several months.

Ms. Montague claimed she struggled to keep up with Woody's newly discovered energy during one of their first outings.

"He took off like a rocket, enjoying being on the streets and peeping into people's gardens, and other such activities. He adored it utterly. ".

At the Cork Summer Show last weekend, Woody and Orianna competed in a pony competition. The two placed second overall.

For horses that were adopted through an Irish rescue organization, Woody finished second in the "In Hand Rescue Pony class.".

Since it was both my first show and his first show, and I believe we were both a little nervous, I didn't really expect to place second, Orianna said.

However, I was ecstatic to pieces when she gave me the rosette because I was so taken aback. ".

Woody posed for a photo with Kelly, Orianna and Kelsie

Kelly Mellerick, Orianna, and Kelsie Montague posed for a picture alongside Woody.

The My Lovely Horse Rescue Charity has helped save the lives of hundreds of animals, including Woody.

Martina, Deborah, and Cathy Davey, along with one of their friends, founded it in 2011.

The three animal lovers were moved by the sight of abused horses in Dublin and decided to try to assist.

In addition to caring for horses across their three locations, they now also take care of pigs, goats, cats, dogs, hedgehogs, and other sick or abandoned animals.

The TV comedy Father Ted served as inspiration for the organization's name.

One of Father Ted's most well-known episodes features him writing a song in the hopes that it will be selected as Ireland's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Neil Hannon, the lead singer of the Northern Ireland-based pop group The Divine Comedy, actually wrote and sang Ted's song, "My Lovely Horse.".

Hannon is a patron of My Lovely Horse Rescue and is married to Cathy Davey, who founded the organization with Hannon.

He does a lot of advertising for us, said Ms. Mellerick.

"Because he is already so well-known, more people are drawn to the charity. ".

Neil Hannon

Neil Hannon assists in raising money for the My Lovely Horse Rescue organization.

And as a result of calls from reporters all over the world this week, prize-winner Woody has now also developed some notoriety.

Following his success at the Cork show, Orianna and her mentor are teaching Woody to jump fences, and they report that the training is going well.

Ms. Montague remarked, "He just was an angel from the start, he just didn't put a foot wrong.".

He's probably been the easiest horse we've had to retrain thus far because he just has the kindest nature and is so eager to learn and do things.

"He's not the kind of horse that prefers to stand in a field and eat grass; instead, he prefers to go out and roam the streets.

. "

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