Tribute paid to ‘hero’ horse who was inseparable from blind best friend

Boo (left) and Oliver (right) ANL-161210-172352001
Boo (left) and Oliver (right) ANL-161210-172352001

A Norfolk-based horse sanctuary has said goodbye to a “very special horse” who became a beloved companion to his blind best friend for seven years.

Bay cob Oliver had lived with blind Cydesdale cross Boo, who had survived a shocking attack, at Redwing Horse Sanctuary’s horse hospital in Hapton.

When poor Boo’s world was turned upside down, Oliver gave him a reason to trust again and a chance to enjoy a new life at the Sanctuary

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive

Oliver, 28, arrived at the charity in 1992, and formed an immediate bond with Boo. He passed away on October 6 when it was discovered he was suffering from a severe impaction colic. Due to his age, surgery was not an option, and the decision was made to put him down to prevent further suffering.

Boo, 19, who had previously lost one eye to cancer, was shot at point blank range, which resulted in the loss of his remaining eye. He was welcomed into the sanctuary in 2009, allowing him to receive specialist care required for the rest of his life.

No one was ever prosecuted for the crime.

Oliver became Boo’s most trusted friend. A spokesperson said Oliver would guide Boo around the field and accompany him for every veterinary check-up.

Lynn Cutress, Redwings’ Chief Executive, said: “Oliver was not just a beloved member of the Redwings family for almost 25 years, but he was also a hero.

“When poor Boo’s world was turned upside down, Oliver gave him a reason to trust again and a chance to enjoy a new life at the Sanctuary.

“We’re very happy and relieved to see Boo recovering from his loss and adjusting to his new companion so positively and we hope Flynn will become just as good a friend to Boo as Oliver had been for so long.

“Nothing will ever replace Oliver of course, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

The spokesperson added: “Since Oliver’s passing, the Redwings veterinary team has been closely monitoring Boo and he has been introduced to a new companion, a piebald cob called Flynn, also 19, who is helping him come to terms with his loss.

“The pair are currently getting to know each other in the stables at the Redwings horse hospital and initial signs suggest that the two are striking-up a new, close friendship.

“The Redwings veterinary team will continue to give Boo all the extra love and specialist care he needs as he builds his new relationship with Flynn.”

For more on Redwings, visit www.redwings.org.uk