A Shire stallion who saved a mare’s life after she became stuck in a six-hour ordeal has been named animal hero of the year.
Beau was given the title at the national Animal Hero Awards 2018, which took place on Thursday evening (6 September) in London.
Beau came to the aid of Shire mare Beatrice who had become cast in a stable and owners Donald MacIntyre and Jane Lipington were unable to pull her to her feet.
Donald found Beatrice stuck on the stable floor at 8.30am on 19 January at their farm in Bath and immediately called the vet.
Jane told H&H: “Beau and Beatrice had been on the yard together and had access to stables overnight. When Donald found Beatrice on the floor she had obviously been down a while – we could see she wasn’t in a good spot.
“We tried everything and used machinery to try and pull her across the stable but we couldn’t get her up, she gave up more and more. The vet said we could put her out of her misery or give her a few more hours with painkillers and steroids and leave it up to Beatrice.”
Beatrice’s temperature dropped and her heartbeat increased as the owners spent four hours trying to get the mare to her feet while Beau, who was in the next stable, had been “quietly watching” the situation.
“We went to let Beau out for some haylage and instead of going to eat which would be his normal reaction, he marched straight over to Beatrice, put his head over the partition between them and started nibbling her neck and ears,” said Jane.
“As we were watching he then got hold of her headcollar and lifted her head. We began to realise something a bit special was happening. He kept nipping her mane and got hold of her neck and pulled her whole front end off the floor. Everyone got in and pushed and pulled and got her up.
“The vet couldn’t believe it – she really didn’t think Beatrice was going to survive, everything was closing down. We couldn’t have got her out alive without Beau. For whatever reason Beau just knew she had to get off the floor.”
A month after the incident Jane and Donald discovered Beatrice was in foal and welcomed a healthy colt, Angus on 30 March.
“We knew nothing about the awards – they rang up and we were told he had been nominated and the panel had chosen him as the animal hero of the year. Unfortunately we couldn’t take him – he would have loved all the attention.”
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Jane and Donald attended the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Amanda Holden.
“It was just an amazing night about compassion to animals,” said Jane “People need to realise how intelligent these animals are – they just speak a different language and we need to learn their language. They have emotions, they feel compassion and all these things that we feel.”
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