A horse sanctuary has paid tribute to a “hero” cob who spent seven years as the inseparable companion to a blind horse.
Oliver, 28, was put down last week having lived at Redwings since 1992. He had served as the best friend of blind 19-year-old Clydesdale Boo since his arrival at the Norfolk sanctuary in 2009.
Boo had already lost one eye to cancer when he was shot at point blank range in the other.
Although no one was ever brought to justice for the shocking attack, Boo was moved to Redwings so he could receive specialist care for the rest of his life.
He was paired up with Oliver, who acted as his friend and guide and helped to rebuild his confidence.
The two horses remained inseparable until the morning of October 6, when Oliver was found to be suffering from a severe impaction colic.
As surgery was not an option due to his age, he was put to sleep with Boo still at his side.
Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ chief executive, said: “Oliver was not just a beloved member of the Redwings family for almost 25 years, but he was also a hero. When poor Boo’s world was turned upside down, Oliver gave him a reason to trust again and a chance to enjoy a new life at the sanctuary.”
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Redwings veterinary team have been closely monitoring Boo since the loss of his friend and he has now been introduced to a new companion, a 19-year-old piebald cob called Flynn. The pair have been getting to know each other in the sanctuary’s stables and have begun to form a bond.
“We’re very happy and relieved to see Boo recovering from his loss and adjusting to his new companion so positively and we hope Flynn will become just as good a friend to Boo as Oliver had been for so long. Nothing will ever replace Oliver of course, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” Lynn added.