Meet Champion, a once-beautiful ex-show Saddlebred gelding. He was about 14, and was absolutely adorable. He was purchased along with two other skinny horses. Champ was probably in the worst shape. He loved people.
His death was caused by selfish, ignorant people. He was tacked up and tied to a hitching post, stretching out and biting at his sides, clearly uncomfortable. He'd already been out on the trails for hours (this is a public riding stable; selling rides to the public for money). Not only was he in NO condition to be ridden strenuously through the trails by inexperienced people, he didn't have shoes and his feet were EXTREMELY sensitive on the gravel trails. He stumbled and grunted the whole way. When I told the owner that he was colicking, I was ignored. Champ was biting at his sides, pacing, ducking his head down, stretching... could there have been anymore clearer signs??
Well, the owner grabbed Champ off the hitching post, and mounted up his rider. Of course, Champ tried to lay down, and the rider was asked to step off because he was "itchy" :roll:
The owner took the saddle off and let him roll, right in the gravel. When he didn't get up, she decided he was probably colicking. Man... if only someone had warned her earlier... So then she proceeds to exhaust him by running him in circles until the vet arrived. He was slipping all over the gravel, going down several times only to be whipped until he stood and started running again. It was appalling. It was abuse. Champ was put down once the vet arrived.
He loved people, he loved attention, and he could have probably been gorgeous once he was made healthy again. Unfortunately, he wasn't given that chance. I wish I had better pictures... poor guy... :'(