A horse who lost both eyes but not his spirit has shown that “blind horses are capable of anything” by taking three world records, aged 22.
US-based Morgan Wagner’s appaloosa gelding Endo, who has become famous as Endo the Blind since he lost his sight, has secured the Guinness records for the highest free jump by a blind horse, clearing 106cm, the fastest time for a blind horse to weave five poles, 9.93 seconds, and the most flying changes by a horse in a minute – 39.
Megan has owned Endo since she was 13 and he was a foal. When he was eight, she noticed he seemed to be squinting, and that his eyes wept in summer and appeared painful. He was diagnosed with , glaucoma and cataracts, and equine recurrent uveitis, a leading cause of blindness in horses.
Despite the best efforts of Morgan and her vets, after five years, Endo’s right eye ruptured and had to be removed. Within months, it became clear that he would also have to lose his left eye.
“Knowing that Endo was facing a life without sight, Morgan was determined to prepare him for what was to come,” a Guinness World Records spokesman said. “Reassuring and petting him, Morgan would blindfold Endo to acquaint him with the feeling.”
Despite all the preparation, losing his left eye was a big step.
“He was very scared in the beginning, so I took him for walks around the barn and then moved on to walks around the property,” said Morgan. But with her support, he regained his confidence, and can now do all a sighted horse would, including competing, hacking, jumping and liberty work.
Morgan hopes Endo’s story will inspire others to focus on the abilities of blind horses rather than their differences.
“Don’t have big goals, just what your horse can do, reward, and try a little bit more next time,” she said, adding that she wants everyone to know how proud she is of her horse, “not just because of his record-breaking achievements, but because despite losing his eyes, he never lost his spirit”.
“I’m very grateful to Guinness World Records for letting us have a platform for blind horses to show the world that they’re still capable of anything,” she said.
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