Saturday, September 22, 2012

Famous Horse Ollie Rescued After Neglect

Ollie is a great horse and I am sad to know that he was neglected, but I am happy that he has been rescued!  Do you have an "Ollie" Breyer Horse?  ~Declan

Famous Horse Was Discovered Neglected And Saved By A Rescue

As Posted: Sep 19, 2012 5:33 PM EDT Updated: Sep 19, 2012 5:43 PM EDT on
By D.K. Wright, Digital Journalist

On August 18, a draft horse rescue in Cambridge took in a black stallion.
They knew his name was Ollie, and he was in bad shape, with two teeth knocked out, sore feet, a skin infection, dull hair and malnutrition.
"He was probably 400 pounds under where he should be," says Lisa Gordon, of Frog Pond Farm Draft Horse Rescue.
Ollie thrived at Frog Pond Farm.
 He came around quickly on his rehabilitation diet of five meals a day, gradual gentle exercise, and vet and chiropractic care.
Ollie was shockingly charming and polite, and quickly became Lisa Gordon's favorite.
"I always tease her about favoritism, how she favors him over everybody else," said Emmi Gordon, Lisa's 15-year-old daughter.
Then Lisa discovered something amazing.
Ollie wasn't any old draft horse.
He was Fox Valley Oliver, champion and reserve champion in the United States and Canada.
Of all the Shire breed, he was a rock star among horses.
He was chosen by the prestigious Breyer Company to be the model for their special edition Breeds of the World toy model horse.
But since then, he had gone from rock star to rock bottom.
Now at age 16, Ollie has found himself a permanent home at Frog Pond Farm.
He is the chilling illustration of what can happen to horses as they are sold and re-sold, as owners lose interest or fall upon hard financial times.
"It just shows everybody that it doesn't matter what horse it is," says 18 year-old Taylor Gordon. "It doesn't matter if it's an old Amish work horse or a top-of-the-game show horse. Any horse can end up where he was."
And even Ollie was just two step away from the fate of many horses these days.
"You know, that's for our horses to be shipped and slaughtered and to be sent overseas to be eaten," says Lisa Gordon.
This happens to be the tenth anniversary of Gordon's very first horse rescue.
Since then she has rehabilitated and re-homed nearly 1700 horses.
But she says nobody tells the story better than Ollie.


  1. Super job, Declan!!

  2. I reposted on FB. What a great story. I have the Fox Valley Oliver Breyer. It is so beautiful.

  3. It took everyone working together to start the ball rolling for Ollie. God bless all of you.

  4. What a story. So glad you found him and he can have a life that he deserves!

  5. From what I have read the "rescue" knew EXACTLY who he was because the president of the American Shire Association contacted them about taking in Fox Valley Oliver.

    His owner either had no place for him or was no longer interested in him, and the stud farm who had been leasing him didn't want him any more after he and another stallion somehow managed to get together and had a fight. A fight that resulted in induries to one or both of them.

    As a 16 year old stallion, Ollie had apparently outlived his usefullness as far as the show world was concerned. Despite the fact that Shires are listed as an endangered breed, the president of the Shire Association was willing to allow one of the most winning stallions of the breed to be gelded in order to go to this "rescue."

    A "rescue" that atakes in draft horses- a working horse breed, but refuses to place horese in working homes-- prefering "pet" homes only.

    Anyway, the fact that Ollie was seriously underweight, older, and injured apparently did not preclude his having to undergo traumatic gelding surgery in that condition so that he could be "rescued." The "rescue" that agreed to take him in does not accept stallions.

    I can't help but wonder why more of an effort wasn't made to place this Champion horse with a smaller farm willing to keep kin intact as a stallion since the Shire breed isn't exatly vrimming over with champiuon stallions at stud.

    In my opinion, Ollie did not get the home he "deserved." Instead at the advanced age of 16, while in poor health and condition, he was gelded. He is now fighting fo his life after yet another surgery-- this one described as neessary to remove an abcess in his intestines.

    If he survives, he will doutlessly be "pimped" unashamedly bu this "rescue" to raise donations. Remember this is a "rescue" that frowns on working draft horse breeds being used for "commercial" purposes such as farming, logging and carriage rides. Go figure.