In October 2003, I was approached by an employee of mine (whom we will call Janice), inquiring if I would be interested in buying two horses. Without knowing what they were, I said “Yes,” Janice told me that a friend of hers was selling the two for $1200.00. I told her that I would like to see them.
After arranging a meeting with owner, Janice said that owner said, if I was really interested she would take $900.00 for the two, because she was leaving out of town within a couple of days and didn’t want to worry about them. I talked to Mary (another horse lover) and she wanted to come with me to see them. By the time we got to the place where the horses were, it was dark; we left the car running with the lights on.
After meeting the owner, we were immediately approached by “Miracle” (Belle) a two year old, after about 10 minutes the other horse, hobbling toward the fence, was a very skinny older horse “Sky” (Star) came to the fence.
I turned and looked at the owner and asked “when the last time these horses were feed; before the owner answered, the owners young child responded, “Oh, we haven’t been here for long time,” both Mary and I looked at each other with disgust. The owner had a truck topper there with oats still in the bag. We got the horses out of the pen and it was very difficult to handle them because they were so hungry, they started eating the grass, after the owner got some oats out of the bag, the gobbled it down. Mary and I couldn’t see very well with the car lights, so we both agreed we’d like to see them the next day. The owner said that she wouldn’t be able to be back the next day and that we could go ahead and come and look at them. The next day, After Mary and I revisited the horses and agreed that these horses have been mistreated and we need to take action. Mary went and talk to the vet at Department of Agriculture the next day and we also talk to a Sangamon County Sheriff that we knew. Both the department of agriculture and the Sheriff stated that if these horses were in these conditions we needed to get them out of there and that we should just take them (of course, with both departments there.) We told them that we would talk to the owner and see what her actions would be like and take if from there. Mary and I went back to the pen where the two where being kept, as you see from the pictures the condition the horses we in. Belle was in real good condition, the only fault, she was 2 years old and still nursing off the mother. Sky (Star) was so skinny, all her bones where showing, limping toward the fence. It took Sky approximately 10 minutes to walk 30 yards. Her hooves had grown over he horseshoes; she had bad thrush in her hooves. I had enough, I called the owner and told how disgusted I was with the condition of the horse and that Mary and I had talked to the Department of Ag and a Sangamon County Sheriff, I explained to her that I really wanted the horses, but I wasn’t going to pay the money she wanted. She asked how bad I wanted the horses, and I said I want the horses, she told me that I could have them both, just take them, I stated that I wanted to make a monetary contract of $1.00. She agreed, later we met and signed a contract. After getting the horses back to my farm, we decided to change the horses names, Miracle became “Belle” and Sky became “Star” and if you put them together it’s Belle Star. (Do you know who she was?). It took almost 2 hours to cut the hooves and remove the horseshoes that were put on Star to correct a founder. For approximately 30 days morning and night, we soaked Stars front hooves, applying Iodine and wrapping with cotton and duck-tape, Star was gentle calm, you could absolutely do anything. In addition, we had to put both of them on a ration of feed to build some weight back.
We finally got belle weaned wasn’t too hard. Star seemed to be getting better everyday. We got threw the winter, I was so relieved. Star and belle were doing well by the spring. By the summer, we actually got Star to trot, not for very long but, she did as we were bringing them some oats, she was so excited. It was so exciting to see.
Star and belle were doing good, gaining weight, and getting better in spirits.
On a cold wintery morning, I came out to do my normal chores. I heard a little whinny coming from the back part of the pen. I called to both horses, Star; raising her head enough to look and called again, I ran to where she was and sat down and started talking to her, she laid her head down on my lap, looked at me, before I could tell my daughter to call the vet, Star took he last breath.
My family and I cherished the time we got to spend with Star, knowing that the last year she lived in a happy place, being pampered, where people loved her. We know that she is in a happy place.
This is what Central Illinois Horse Rescue is about. Central Illinois Horse Rescue was established in 2003 in memory of Star.