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Hooded horse sun smart

By Hayley Gastmeier

[email protected]

Ever wondered about the horse with the hood that hangs out in the Colombo Rd paddock next to Masterton Medical?

Turns out she’s called Angie, and the hood she wears is called a fly mask.

The items are usually used to keep flies off the horse’s’ face, but Angie wears one for a different reason.

David Fisher is associated with the Masterton Hospital Grazing Club, and has known Angie for about 10 years.

He grew close to the horse after it spent a year in the stables at his Upper Plain property.

“A few years ago she got an infection on her skin, particularly on her forehead, and she lost the hair which didn’t grow back again.

“So she’s got exposed pink skin which is prone to getting sunburnt.”

Mr Fisher said Angie’s owner had used the fly mask as a sun shield.

“You can see through it quite well. It’s a very, very course netting, but you can see through it no problem at all.

“It probably cuts out about 60 per cent of the sunlight.”

He said it was like “giving the horse a permanent umbrella over its bare skin on its face”.

Mr Fisher said Angie’s skin issues were improving.

He did not know how old the horse was, but “she’s not young”.

The Masterton Hospital Grazing Club was started up in about 1985, Mr Fisher said.

“We used to graze other animals there as well.

“A lot of the smaller animals, like sheep, often ended up on people’s dinner plates, so we switched to just horses.”


  1. Ang is an amazing horse and without that mask her sunburn is painful and raw. It’s no cruel a many people have said.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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