Our horse hero

It can take a trac­tor and full team of peo­ple to get a col­ick­ing Shire horse back on their feet, but when Beatrice fell ill it was her hand­some long-time com­pan­ion Beau who pulled her to safety

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A Shire who saved his com­pan­ion

IT WAS 9AM when Don­ald McIn­tyre first no­ticed that his 16-year-old Shire horse Beatrice was strug­gling to get up. He alerted his part­ner Jane Lip­ing­ton, who rushed to the scene to help. “When Shires have colic, they don’t usu­ally thrash about,” says Jane. “Once we re­alised what we were deal­ing with, we knew we had to get Beatrice back on her feet im­me­di­ately. “We at­tached her to a buggy, but time we man­aged to get her stand­ing she col­lapsed again. Our vet ar­rived at 11am and said we could keep try­ing, but we’d have to make a call be­fore 4pm about whether we should put her to sleep. “As you can imag­ine, the whole thing was trau­matic. Beatrice was in a lot of pain and it was heart­break­ing to watch her suf­fer. She has given us four foals — in­clud­ing one with our favourite stal­lion, my rid­ing horse Beau. “Be­cause of all the palaver, it wasn’t un­til mid­day that we de­cided to let Beau out of his sta­ble for a walk. When we did, he marched straight over to Beatrice, took hold of her head­col­lar and pulled. “Beau kept tug­ging on Beatrice’s head­col­lar and then he started to nip her neck. We just thought he was be­ing a typ­i­cal stal­lion, but he was ac­tu­ally try­ing to save her life. It took him 10 min­utes, but some­how he man­aged to haul her whole front end up. We then walked Beatrice around the yard un­til ev­ery­thing was nor­mal and the vet gave her the all-clear. “Since she col­icked, we’ve found out that Beatrice is in foal to Beau and she is due in May. I think it’s safe to say we hugely un­der­es­ti­mate the emo­tional in­tel­li­gence of these an­i­mals.”

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