It is almost a year ago since Charlie whirlwinded into the lives of the volunteers of Hungry Horse Outside. It is almost a year since that fateful Sunday morning that a call came in to collect four stray and abandoned horses roaming the streets of Longford. Little did we know when the horsebox was hooked up what lay in store, a controversy that left the nation reeling, one which is heavily debated to this day.
Upon finding the location of the horses we were met with four in total, 3 mares and 1 brazen stallion. After loading them all up and bringing them home, we found the stallion had a microchip, rang the relevant authorities to trace his owner, only to be told that stallion was slaughtered 11 months before and was officially recorded as dead. News spread quickly, camera crews from all over the world flocked to meet the “Horse that damns Ireland”. Anyway today is not a day for dwelling on his background too much.
A long time ago a natural horsemanship expert from Belgium got in touch with us, wondering if it would be possible for him to rehome two Irish cobs. After many months of to ing and fro ing we decided Charlie and his friend Duchess would be the ones to send. A decision we did not take likely. Charlie and Duchess left the yard at 2pm, they are expected to start their travels this morning and arrive in Belgium on Sunday. They will be met by Dirk just outside Brussels who will bring them to his “prairie” to settle for a few days.
We have sent a “fostering agreement” with them both, the agreement states that HHO Charlie and Sai Duchess will remain the property of HHO for the duration of their lives, we are happy for their new foster carer to keep them for the remainder of their life, HOWEVER if it happens for one reason or another that he needs to rehome them (which is hopefully never), but in the event that does happen HHO will pay for their return to Ireland.
The whole experience was bittersweet, we joked earlier on the day of their departure that there would be tears when they leave, a crazy thought we’ve seen so many horses come through the doors, we were so happy for the life they have ahead of them, when it came down to loading time, we felt ourselves not wanting to leave the lorry after they had been loaded, too busy chatting to them, telling them all about their new life and they were to be a good boy and girl. (Sounds crazy we know but welcome to the world of a horse lover)
So after we eventually let the driver close up the lorry we stood and watched Charlie and Duchess drive away in a state of the art 132 lorry, symbolic of their new lives.
Charlie’s story is one of twists and turns, we feel he had no luck in Ireland. Unwanted, Abandoned, Starving and not forgetting “Slaughtered”, in other ways Charlie’s story brings us hope, how lucky he was that Sunday it was Hungry Horse who went out to rescue him, he’s off to a new life with a very experienced horse man, who will install a camera in his stable so we can check in on him. Charlie has been given a chance of a bright future, a special home, where children will fuss over him, a fantastic future for a fantastic cob.