Log: December, 2013
"On Sept. 28, the youngest horse at Being With Horses, a riding stable owned by Lennon & Veronika La Fortune in Tobago, fell from a cliff over four-stories high.
Princess Julie, age 5, was found mid-morning by Lennon in the last place he dared to look, thinking she had simply escaped the enclosed pasture again. Whether she had slipped while grazing or the ground gave way underneath due to the rainy season, it is unknown how she fell.
A crane was called in to rescue her, but the first attempt proved unsuccessful when her struggles nearly pulled the truck down with her. Paul Crooks, a vet from the Tobago SPCA, was called in to come sedate her before the rescue was tried again. There was doubt that she would survive, and suggestion to put her down on the spot. Lennon and Veronika refused to give up since she was like their child, born and raised in their backyard with her parents Jennifer and Shawari, the alpha and matriarch of the herd. After sedation, the second attempt was successful and she was reunited with her distraught family. Veronika contacted her brother in Germany, Tobias Danzer, who was able to recover the footage of this second attempt, which was filmed by one of the crane operators. The rescue ended early-afternoon. It was estimated that Julie was down there for nine hours.
The first week of care was intensive, it's a miracle there were no broken bones. The most major injuries included a dislodged neck and spine, a hole in the head which went straight down to the skull, a tear on the right foreleg, and a deep stab wound in the rear which tore out muscle tissue. There was grave concern when maggots were found deep inside the head wound, most likely laid there before she was found on the morning of the accident. It was feared that they had gotten into her brain after she almost fainted a few times. The removal of the parasites was long and torturous for everyone, and after the later discovered skull chip was pushed out from the wound itself, healing became rapid.
There were times when the injuries would reopen from her itching or even simply moving, but in just two of the estimated nine months the vet said it would take for her to fully recover, most of her wounds are fully healed and she's back to her old self. She still undergoes therapy for her neck and spine and won't be ride-able by adults for at least another seven months, but it's always a joy to see her running free alongside riders and rolling in the sand, since she may never have done that again."
Special thanks to:
Lennon & Veronika La Fortune for their support
Paul Crooks from the Tobago SPCA for his assistance in veterinary care
Auto Assist 800-4TOW for making the rescue possible and filming it
Tobias Danzer for recovering the rescue footage
Music by Yasunori Mitsuda from the Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack