Farm owners Donald MacIntyre and Jane Lipington arrived at their barn early in the morning and knew right away that something was wrong.
Beatrice, a 16-year-old shire horse, was lying on the ground, unable to stand. Weighing in at one ton, the pressure was taking a toll on her internal organs, causing her heart rate and blood pressure to rise. The elderly horse was suffering from equine colic or severe abdominal pain, and time was of the essence. So the couple worked for the next six hours to get their beloved horse back on her feet, even strapping her to a tractor to turn her over.
But even that didn’t work.
They’d set a deadline, and if Beatrice wasn’t standing by that time, they’d have to notify the vet to have her euthanized at their farm near Bath, in southwest England.
Throughout the ordeal, Beau watched on in silence. The 11-year-old stallion had been stall mates with Beatrice for 10 years, and they’d had four foals together. With such a strong bond, he couldn’t stand idly by, watching her suffer.
With just 20 minutes left to the deadline, Jane suddenly remembered that Beau needed to be let out, so she opened the door to his stall. But instead of heading out into the pasture, he approached his helpless companion — and managed to do “what six hours of human endeavor with straps and machinery had failed to,” Jane said.
Beau “leaned over the partition and started nipping at her, getting hold of her halter with his teeth and shaking it. He then lifted her head up,” shifting her into a more upright position. “We all watched with amazement,” Jane recalled.
And his persistence worked! After 10 minutes, Beatrice had struggled back to her feet. Incredulous, Donald and Jane were then able to call the vet and cancel the planned trip.
If you’re thinking this is nothing remarkable, think again!
“Horses are herd animals, and generally, if one horse is down, others around it wouldn’t make much of an effort, maybe one may paw at it. But generally they would probably go off in a direction,” said Duncan Ballard, a horse vet at Bushy Equine of Bristol.
“So to come across a horse that actually physically grabbed another in the way Beau did to Beatrice is incredibly rare. Shire horses are known to be emotionally intelligent, and that certainly is the case with Beau.”
Not only did Beau show incredible compassion, but Beatrice has since made a full recovery! Watch this stallion come to the rescue with just minutes to spare in the video below, and share with a horse lover today!