Owner’s last wish granted as 29-year-old canal horse gets home for life

  • One of the UK’s last canal boat horses has moved to his final home, as one of his owner’s “last wishes came true for her faithful old friend”.

    Bilbo Baggins has moved to Horse Sense Wirral, where he will be cared for, for the rest of his life, as his owner has moved into a hospice this week.

    Bilbo hit headlines in 2012 as he was the first horse to draw a barge the length of the extended Leeds to Liverpool canal, a 128-mile journey that took five months.

    “Unfortunately, his owner of many years moved into a hospice this week and is no longer able to take care of him,” a spokesman for the charity said. “Horse Sense Wirral stepped in so that she knows he will receive loving care for the rest of his days.

    “As he is 29, Horse Sense Wirral is best placed to meet Bilbo’s geriatric needs, as one of the key focuses of the charity is giving dignity and comfort to old horses and ponies.”

    Picture by Horse Sense Wirral

    Charity chair Amy Pirie said Bilbo made the journey from Suffolk this week.

    “When we heard the story of the lady who owns him, we were desperate to help and make sure one of her last wishes came true for her faithful old friend,” she said. “He will be much loved and fit in with the other characters here – of which there are many.

    “You can count on one hand the boat horses that exist in the UK – the practice is very much in decline. In that sense, Bilbo is part of history.”

    Bilbo will be added to the charity’s sponsorship programme, and anyone who would like to support him is asked to get in touch.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...