Rescued: Easter Saturday, 2010. Passed away: February 2013.
We received an emergency call for help on Easter Sunday after a pony was found abandoned to die on wasteground in Benijofar.
Spotted by a group of children, the pony was in a shocking state - half bald and covered in mud and faeces.
Our volunteers rushed to the scene with an officer from Benijofar police. When they arrived they found the pony lying on a pathway.
It looked as though she had simply lain down to die. She could not have survived much longer. If it had not been for the children who found her and the fast action of Benijofar police and council calling us, we would have been dealing with a dead pony.
The EHCRC was initially contacted by Councillor Pat Taylor from Benijofar Council on Easter Saturday 2010, who informed the centre that there was a pony abandoned in terrible condition, and asking if they could help.
She got her name on the way back in the trailer as she insisted standing up the whole way, despite her appalling condition; Sue Weeding, who was with her in the trailer, commented at the time "that's one tough little Cookie".
One of the first tasks was to cut large amounts of her coat off, as it was encased in her own faeces where she had obviously laid for months, too ill to stand.
It took Sue and Justin – the UK representative who was working at the centre at the time – two days to clean her up and from there on, she received all the love, care and of course medical treatment that was necessary to ensure that she had a pain free and happy life at the centre.
The pony had obviously suffered long-term neglect before being abandoned. Her hooves had not been cut and so had grown upward, deforming her feet, legs and shoulders. She has severe laminitis and her legs and shoulders are deformed as a result.
But she was quite a young horse and very determined so we were able to her back to a reasonable state of health.
Two months later and Cookie was already a different horse. Her coat grew back, revealing the beautiful little horse we knew she was, though she still could not walk well and continued to need specialist care.
We sent her to a specialist vet in Barcelona for treatment to counter the long-term damage caused by laminitis. She came home in September 2010 after one of Spain's top horse vets, Gaspar Castelijns, performed surgery on her front legs. Cookie was in pain and barely able to walk before the surgery but got around happily afterwards.
But in February 2013, we had to make the sad decision to put Cookie to sleep. Her condition had deteriorated to the point where nothing else could be done for her and we obviously wouldn't allow her to be in any pain.
However, Cookie left a legacy that will help save other horses in the future; because of the friendship that developed between EHCRC and the Benijofar Council since her rescue, the centre knows that if any other horse needs help in Benijofar, the Council will respond.
Councillor Pat Taylor paid tribute to Cookie, saying:"On Easter Saturday 2010, I received a call from the local police in Benijofar saying that a small horse had been found by the river and needed urgent help. I knew straight away who to call and that was what cemented the friendship between the PSOE in the Town Hall at the time and the Horse Care Centre.
"Cookie as she was named, had some awful injuries and problems but she was a fighter and came through one thing after another.
"Sue and I have kept in contact since then and with our then Mayor Daniel Padilla Villa we were invited back to the centre to see how Cookie was getting along.
"I often visit with a group of friends from Benijofar and we have lunch and search the shop for bargains ! But the most important thing is going round to see all the horses.
"When Sue phoned me to tell me the sad news that Cookie had died it was a very sad day, and although she had gone through so much in her life, it makes me feel better to know that for almost the last 3 years she had been looked after, cared for and loved by so many people at the centre and all the wellwishers that visited her.
"Making that call to Sue nearly 3 years ago saved Cookie's life and gave her the love that she hadn't known before. It's a shame there are many more horses in the same position, the centre rescue as many as they can, and by visiting the centre or their shops we can all help to make a difference."
Rest in peace our beautiful little Cookie, we will miss you and we will always love you.