A HAMPSHIRE animal lover has told how her quick reactions - and a vet's expertise - prevented her much-loved pony from losing an eye.
Jan Milsom, who lives in the New Forest, said 16-year-old Charlie was in his field when he suffered an injury to his right eye.
"I saw him standing at the gate, head down, and felt instinctively that something was wrong," she said.
"Charlie’s right eyelid was ripped, his eye lashes were hanging down and there was blood.
"It was such a shock - I'd never seen anything like it. Somehow I got him to the stable yard and immediately called the vets."
Jan loaded the pony into a trailer with the help of her yard mate, Annie Hodgkinson, and drove to Seadown Veterinary Hospital at Hythe.
Equine vet Karolina Kalka prepared Charlie for surgery with the help of assistant Vicky Foot, who sedated him.
He was kept in a stable for two weeks and wore a mask, complete with metal cups covering his eyes, to prevent him rubbing the affected area.
Jan said: "It must have taken more than a month for him to recover but he's back to full health and I'm so, so grateful.
"We don’t know how he managed to damage his eyelid so badly - it was just one of those field accidents - but I know it helped that we acted quickly.
"I can't praise Karolina enough. She saved Charlie’s eye, you can’t tell it happened now."
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