A British horse who was blinded by an intruder is fronting the “second-chance” appeal of equine charity Redwings, which stepped in to help the stricken equine.
Intruders entered Boo’s field and shot him in the eye with an air rifle at point-blank range. This horrific act 11 years ago was doubly distressing for Boo as he had already lost one eye to cancer. The act left the clydesdale cross completely blind.
Boo’s owner was devastated to find him after the attack. She called a vet who advised that because of his size, it would be safest for others around Boo if he was put to sleep. It was a heart-breaking decision, but it seemed there was no other option.
If it hadn’t been for heavy snowfall that winter, Boo’s story may well have ended there. But the bad weather delayed the vet’s visit and Boo’s owner began to reconsider the options for him. Hearing about Redwings and its special care facilities, she made a final, desperate phone call. And with that call, Boo’s life was saved.
Rachel, who took the call from Boo’s owner, said the delay in getting the vet had given the owner time to see how well he was responding and gave a glimmer of hope that he might have a future.
In the years he has been at Redwings, Boo has won many hearts.
“Boo has got such an amazing awareness of his surroundings, I’ve tried seeing how close I can get before he notices me and he always knows I’m coming,” says Evey, one of Boo’s carers. “He is an absolute pleasure to handle and be around, you would not think he was blind most of the time. Considering what happened to him, the trust he has in people is humbling.”
His veterinarian, Melissa, said Boo is a gentle giant and excellent to handle. “He completely puts all his trust in you and will follow you wherever you need him to go.”
At Redwings, Boo has a safe and peaceful space to live, and a carefully chosen companion. Boo also suffers from sweet itch, so he also requires a more open field that is not so close to ditches and marshes in order to minimise the midges.
He wears a sweet itch rug, and is fully clipped so he doesn’t overheat on hot days, and receives a special treatment each week, said Talita, the manager at Hapton where Boo lives.
“Being a heavy horse we also must take special care with his feet, so he and Flynn have a special trimming rotation, twice-weekly they have their feet picked out and disinfected and they receive balancer feed as a supplement to support a healthy foot, too.”
Boo features in several items in the Redwings Christmas Shop, including cards, tea towels, aprons, and more.