Gerry, who faced each day with the excruciating pain of an embedded head collar, was desperately in need of human help but was not trusting enough to allow it.
Now, after the perseverance of an Irish horse charity and its supporters, Gerry has got the help he needed – and now bears the name of the man who was instrumental in his rescue.
Gerry, a yearling, had been abandoned and was running wild with other horses in a 100-acre field in Clondalkin.
Dublin-based My Lovely Horse Rescue was told about his plight by a member of the public in April.
Staff tried to catch him that evening, to no avail.
That week, it arranged more volunteers to go into the field to try to corral the horses.
Gerry, a piebald cob, could not be caught.
“The poor boy was left at only a few months old with a head collar on him,” the charity explained on its website. “As he grew the head collar got tighter and tighter until it was embedded into his head, causing unbelievable pain and infection.
“Gerry was so scared and unhandled we couldn’t get him.”
The charity reached out to other organisations for help. The man who stepped forward was Gerry Creighton, from Dublin Zoo, who proposed shooting Gerry with his tranquiliser gun.
Creighton was joined at the pasture by a vet and a team of volunteers in an attempt to corral the horses and tranquilise Gerry – a task that would normally take two darts.
“We tried this on three separate occasions, and were unsuccessful,” the rescue group reported.
“The pony simply kept on running.”
Over the next few days, volunteers went to the field each day to try to get to know the ponies and leave carrots and treats, hoping to calm down the herd.
On the fourth attempt, on May 26, the charity finally had a calmer herd, with the vet and Creighton at the ready with his tranquiliser gun.
After four hours and four darts, Gerry was finally sedated and could be led from the field and taken to the charity’s rescue centre.
“His poor head stank and had a live maggot infestation,” My Lovely Horse Rescue reported. “The vet removed the old embedded head collar and treated the wound. Gerry is expected to make a full recovery with lots of veterinary care, and care from our volunteers.”
The charity offered its special thanks to Creighton. “We couldn’t have done this without you and have named this lovely little piebald cob after his hero.
“We can never thank Gerry enough for his patience and help. My Lovely Horse Rescue loves this man and because of him this young innocent frightened and seriously wounded boy will have a life of happiness and love.”
Gerry will need considerable care during his recovery. Anyone wanting to donate can do so on this page.
The charity caring for Gerry was named after the song, My Lovely Horse, made famous in the comedy television series, Father Ted.
Those who haven’t seen this televisual masterpiece should do so immediately: