The owners of a 28-year-old pony who underwent major colic surgery believe she would not have survived without her stable-mate jumping a fence to get her to her feet.
Kelly Lasarow told H&H her mother Gill Brincat’s 13.2hh mare Belle came down with colic on 23 March.
“My dad called my mum first thing to say she’d been rolling a lot, and was lying down and couldn’t get up,” she said.
“We got the vet out and they gave her everything but it wasn’t really working. They said the pain relief they’d given her would last till the afternoon, and to see how she was then.”
But by lunchtime, Belle’s condition had deteriorated.
“Mum had been with her all morning, but she went down on the school and we couldn’t get her up,” Kelly said.
“She wasn’t moving; she was non-responsive, to the point her eyes had that staring look, she was in a bad place.”
In a video of what happened next, two of Kelly’s horses who were turned out next to the school can be seen looking agitated.
“My friend went to get them in and they were running around; they could see Belle was down,” she said. “That’s when Gracie decided to jump the gate into the school and get Belle up.
“At the time, we were terrified. All we saw was this 17hh horse hurtling towards us, and we thought ‘oh my god’, but then realised she was trying to get Belle up — and it worked.
“She didn’t run at her, just behind her, and Belle jumped up. I said to Mum later, the life had gone from her eyes at that point and I thought she was going to die.”
Her job done, Gracie, who Kelly has competed up to 1.35m and who has a reputation for extra-curricular jumping, allowed herself to be brought in, while the vet returned to sedate Belle, and give her more pain relief so she could be travelled to Bell Equine veterinary clinic.
“She had major surgery,” Kelly said. “They removed the impaction, but also found her stomach had attached to her abdomen, which is incredibly rare. She had a bumpy ride, but after two weeks in hospital, they felt she was stable enough to come home.”
Belle arrived home on Tuesday (6 April) and after a worrying start when she refused to eat, was making progress.
“Gracie was here when she came back and they were all calling like mad when they saw she’d come home,” Kelly said.
‘I asked Joanna to tell her not to worry and that she was a part of our team and not
Three vets worked to remove the lump of dried feed matter from Bertie’s stomach
“I’d like to think she knows what happened. I’m sure she knew what she was doing as she’s incredibly smart and she didn’t try to sniff or kick Belle; just got her up and then went away as if her job was done, and I can’t think of any other reason she’d have done it.’
Update: Sadly, Belle’s condition deteriorated and she had to be put down on 10 April.
Kelly said she was readmitted to Bell, where food was found outside her stomach. She was put down on Gill’s grandson Isaac’s birthday.
“Mum had to do the right thing for her and have her put to sleep,”Kelly said. “We all miss her so much. Isaac hasn’t asked where she is yet but I’m not sure how we will find the words.
“Mum’s vet’s bill is up to about £9,000 and she isn’t insured so I wanted to set up this fundraiser page to try to help her; any donations would be massively appreciated.
“The horses were all wild when we got back to the yard yesterday having said goodbye. It was like they knew somehow.”
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