You may say “Oh, was he a famous horse, a racing horse, or a showjumping horse?” No. He was not a racing horse, and not a show jumping horse. Luckily. He lived at an animal sanctuary, at Tower Hill Stables Animals Sanctuary, in Essex, UK, rescued a few years ago from slaughter.
Mr. Rupert’s life mattered. Because life matters.
There are no species that are more important than others. But we currently experience on this planet that this is not the case. Not at all. Animal suffering is a huge issue on this planet right now. They are still considered as “things” that can be bought, owned, sold to make money with them, or thrown away when no longer needed. For horses, it seems that as soon as they don’t provide enough “value” to their “owners”, they have a high probability to be sold to the slaughterhouse, or to be abandoned. Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, a home for about 400 previously unwanted animals, led by my friend Fiona Oakes, can share those tragic stories about every single horse she is taking care of.
Mr. Rupert was a very special horse. A very big horse. A very gentle, calm, and wise soul. Always in balance. He was born into the body of a white Percheron, which is one of the biggest horse races on the planet. Fiona Oakes rescued Mr. Rupert four years ago from slaughter. As you can imagine, some people who want to make money with animals, had the great idea to sell this beautiful horse that’s about 1.000 kg plus as a young boy (!) to the slaughterhouse. Lots of money to make compared to a horse that’s just half the weight of Mr. Rupert; if you don’t care about the life of an animal.
If you do care about animals, you would never even consider selling your animal to the slaughterhouse.
Luckily, Mr. Rupert had a guardian angel surrounding and protecting him. His guardian angel was and is Fiona Oakes. As soon as he was rescued by her; as soon as he arrived at Tower Hill Stables, he was safe. Finally, he could inhale and exhale without anxiety. Now, as he was safe, he could simply enjoy his horse life with all the other horses, with pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys, chickens, cats, and dogs.
Why do I write about Mr. Rupert as he wasn’t even “my” horse?
I write about him because all life matters.
I write about him because we are all connected to each other. And by the way, this is not a “belief system”, this is simply physics. On a quantum level, we are all electro-magnetic beings.
I write about him because nobody “owns” an animal; it’s just our outdated “humans rule the world” legal system that declares an animal a thing, which is a prerequisite to “own” it and to “use” it.
I write about him because this big boy left huge horse “hoof” imprints on my heart.
I write about him because animals like Mr. Rupert wouldn’t live without animal sanctuaries, without fascinating human beings like Fiona Oakes, who sacrifice EVERYTHING for the animals, to provide them with all they need to live their lives on their terms. And that’s not a “benefit”; it is simply their right.
I will never forget the moment when I met Mr. Rupert for the first time. Such an impressive, big, big horse. His head was as big as my upper body, and I’m not a small, but a tall person. I will never forget his incredible tender horse kisses and his curious horse tongue that was always checking out if there were any treats for him in my pockets. Whenever I visited the sanctuary, Mr. Rupert walked me around in his calm, majestic, and totally relaxed manner.
When the new stable was built, and finally a proper roof could be created, it was Mr. Rupert who presented it to me as you can see here on the left. Some of you may remember Mr. Rupert’s roof appeal when he was raising money for him and his horse friends for the new roof.
Why did Mr. Rupert die? He was not older than ten or twelve years, way too young for a horse
Well, Mr. Rupert was lame on May 19th, seen by the vet the same day. At this point, it was not certain what was causing the issue.
On May 21st, Rupert went down. “Given his size and his weight of about 1.000 kg plus, this is a serious issue in case of lameness. The vet suggested we contact the fire rescue services” said Fiona Oakes. The special animal crew from South Woodham Ferrers and their Unimog vehicle and more crews came to bring Mr. Rupert back on his feet. Four hours later Rupert could stand without the help of the lift. Woohoo!
It was planned to make x rays the following day. But it turned out that the mobile x rays were too small for Mr. Rupert. So, he had to be brought to the vet’s hospital for the x rays and further investigations. But let’s tell Fiona: “…and we finally got him on the lorry. This is his only chance – his size is a massive consideration in this matter. He is a large horse, and I don’t think the phrase ‘no hoof, no horse’ could ever have applied more. We have had many heavy horses in the past and have learned the hard way you must keep them on their feet. They simply cannot afford to go down on a prolonged and regular basis.”
May 22nd: Mr. Rupert has made it to the Vet and was being x-rayed. He now had access to ‘state of the art’ veterinary treatments. That was his chance! He had the best chance anybody could offer him. And Fiona and her partner Martin did EVERYTHING to get him there. But that didn’t save his life.
On May 24th, Mr. Rupert passed away owing to very unfortunate circumstances
Those circumstances were, for instance, not acting fast enough, not considering his massive size when it came to the dosage of medication, and not listening to Fiona who knows Mr. Rupert in an out, and who is taking care of horses for over 40 years, including lots of those big horses.
“His foot was poulticed, and the abscess had already tracked up rather than down and come out through the Coronet Band. They were hoping this would continue and they Farrier could drill a hole under the foot to get the rest out from the bottom of the hoof, but they didn’t act fast enough, and the infection had spread” as Fiona shared on facebook. The infection had spread into his pedal bone which caused him, as you can imagine, terrible pain.
Fiona Oakes fought to get him to the vet. She fought to get the right lorry for him, and she fought for his treatment. “Honestly, it’s like they see horses as items of value based on what they are worth in terms of human remuneration – not that they are precious lives who are equal and deserve to be treated so.”
Unfortunately, she is so right with her observations. This is why Mr. Rupert’s life and his death matter. I guess his soul has more work to do on the other side of the rainbow bridge, educating other souls on what matters. Basic principles such as unconditional love, collaboration instead of competition, and understanding connectedness and oneness, and the rule of cause and effect.
Mr. Rupert’s atomic body died. But his spirit, his energy, his consciousness are still around to drive change.
Links and ways to help the animals:
Fiona Oakes is a world-class vegan marathon runner, holds several Guinness world records
Her biggest challenge is happening right now: The Four Desert Challenge