22nd December 2005
Brian, the loyal and devoted companion of Georgia would have to be one of the luckiest horses alive, and it was this love of Georgia that actually saved his life. Like Georgia, Brian was awaiting slaughter at the knackery yard. Soon both he and Georgia were to have been reduced to a pile of bones just like the other cast off equines they had watched butchered in the previous days.
When we arrived at the yard to pick up Georgia we noticed a big robust bay gelding (castrated male horse) doting beside her, the two moved about the yard as one. Removing Georgia from the yard was problematic as the bay gelding tried gallantly to follow also. We had to shut the gate on him, pushing him back to stop him following his companion, his whinnies ringing in our ears as we loaded the obliging but anxious Georgia on to horse trailer. Driving out the gate we could see the now frantic bay fellow racing up and down the fence line calling for his friend. His calls being answered by Georgia. How often humans break up bonds between animals simply for convenience, yet herd animals like the horse form strong bonds that can last a life time.
Looking around the knackery yard it was hard not to despair at how we humans have betrayed these majestic animals. Pens of miniature ponies all squashed in together, faithful old and pitifully thin horses with neglect knots in their once beautiful flowing manes, bold standardbreds looking into distant paddocks they would never roam, terrified brumbies racing here and there, once proud thoroughbreds a shadow of their former selves and various other breeds simply surplus to the owners needs. All could smell the rancid stench of death. A pile of skeletons outside the kill floor served as a legacy to the morning’s activities and will remain ingrained in our memories forever. Piles of heads in one section, legs and hooves in another, highly intelligent animals reduced to body bits like the assembly line of the automobile industry. The Image of seeing the bay gelding’s head amongst this sorrowful site haunted our dreams that night and told us what we had to do the next day.
Our eyes filled with tears as we unloaded Brian the following day to be reunited with his beloved Georgia! And as their nostrils touched, each letting out a gentle whinny told us we had done the right thing.