Miracle in the stable
Owner calls vet to put down sick mare. But in deeply moving scenes, her faithful companion in the next stable coaxes her on to her feet … and back to health
COLLAPSED on her stable floor and moaning with pain, shire horse Beatrice was minutes from death.
The one-ton animal was paralysed from colic and her owners, after a desperate six hours struggling to save her, had made the heartbreaking decision to have her put down.
But her stablemate Beau had other ideas. Marching over to where she lay, he lowered his face to gently nuzzle her, grunting as he encouraged her to stand.
When that failed, he took hold of his stricken friend’s mane between his teeth. Pulling and tugging every time her head fell back down, he eventually dragged her to her feet as she kicked out in the hay.
Shaky, but upright, Beatrice was then walked round their yard by her owner to relieve the pain. And remarkably she has gone on to make a full recovery.
Owners Donald MacIntyre and his wife Jane Lipington had spent hours trying to get Beatrice to stand at their farm in Langridge, near Bath, but to no avail.
They could not believe it when Beau intervened. Miss Lipington said: ‘We have never witnessed a horse saving another’s life.’
Colic, a build-up of gas in the gut or an obstruction in the intestine, causes severe pain and is one of the main causes of death among domesticated horses.
Mr MacIntyre, his wife and four farm workers had battled to get Beatrice to stand but she was too heavy and too weak from the pain. As her heart rate and blood pressure increased, the couple decided it was only fair to have her put down.
Miss Lipington then remembered that Beau needed to be let out, and opened his stable door for him – when, in heart-warming scenes caught on camera, he eventually raised Beatrice to her feet.
‘We quickly walked her out into the yard trying to stop her falling down,’ said Miss Lipington, able her to being phone 60. put their As down. they astonished did so vet they to were cancel Duncan Ballard, a vet at Bushy Equine in Bristol, said the incident demonstrated the emotional intelligence of shire horses. ‘Horses are herd animals and generally if one is down others around it wouldn’t make much of an effort,’ he said. ‘To come across a horse that actually grabbed another in the way Beau did is incredibly rare.’