The braying of donkeys early this morning heralded the arrival of a very special colt. Seven months ago, his mama, Nova, was in obvious distress in an auction mart pen awaiting transport to the slaughterhouse in Fort McLeod, Alberta. She had a large udder and initially it was suspected that she was in labour. Free Spirit Sanctuary was able to purchase her and another buckskin mare, Honeycomb, just as the truck arrived to load the other horses for transport to Bouvry Exports.
An ultrasound performed shortly after her rescue showed that Nova, who is about 16 yo, was 4 months pregnant. Her colt had sold for $1000 one week prior in a production sale that featured approximately 70 foals. The breeder who sent her to auction had intended for her to go for meat because she was sore in her front end. Subsequent x-rays showed that she had a bone spur on her left front navicular bone with a calcified deep digital flexor tendon. Although it was recommended that she be euthanized, it was decided to at least give her a trial of anti-inflammatories, which she responded well to.
Honeycomb is in her mid-twenties and was sent to auction, again with the intent of her going for slaughter, by the person who had “owned” her for the past 10 years. She had had a couple of foals during that time and was ridden as a trail/western pleasure horse until about 3 years ago. She had developed soreness in her front end, so it was decided to sell her for meat via the auction. In her younger years Honeycomb did barrel racing with a teenaged girl. After her rescue, the veterinarian diagnosed her with navicular syndrome. She has also responded well to anti-inflammatories.
In early March, both Honeycomb and Nova were adopted to Linda of Ruby’s Voice Equine Services, where they will have a loving forever home. We were delighted to hear that Nova gave birth to a healthy, big colt today who has been named Flame. As Linda wrote on Facebook, “As long as there is a small flame burning in someone’s heart there is always hope and hope makes miracles happen! When you have a true passion for animals it doesn’t matter if they are male or female, crippled or sound, papered or not, young or old they all have so much to give!”
Adopting Nova and Honeycomb out, created room for Free Spirit Sanctuary to take in a pregnant wildie mare, Athena, who was captured in this year’s cull. FSS would like to thank everyone who came together to help rescue these mares and ensure that Flame would have a chance at life. A special thank you to the CHDC for donating $400 toward Nova’s veterinary care.