BLM Murders Another Wild Horse

Forward by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Story by Jacquelyn Hieber as posted on Facebook

“Why in the hell would the BLM geld a 26 year old Stallion that was headed to a sanctuary.  Where is the logic, where is the compassion, where is the common sense?  Dead is dead and the more the BLM fiddles around with the freedom and families of wild horses and burros the more the death count climbs.  Many regrets sent out to those who were so devastated by this unnecessary tragedy.  Our hearts are with you.” ~ R.T.


If left on his rightful range he would be alive today

Antonino

Antonino

Forgive me if this is not well-written, but I want our village of mustang warriors to be the first to know. It is with a broken heart that I am writing to tell you that our beloved Grulla #3907, Antonino, has left this Earth.

I was out of the country last week without cell service, and upon landing in the U.S. at 9:00 pm last night, I had two voicemails and a text from BLM Delta asking me to call them. This is not out of the ordinary, I figured they were calling to talk about finalizing the adoption of Antonino’s herd mate, but when I noticed the text was sent Saturday night, my heart sunk a little.

I called their cell phone, and there was an answer on the other end. He told me, he had bad news, and wanted to make sure I heard it from him first. He had been waiting for my call. I still wasn’t expecting him to tell me what came next…

He told me the vet came out to do geldings on July 28th. The vet had given Antonino anesthetic, he lie down, and went to sleep. But, when he went to sleep, he never woke up. My mind began to race…all of the other mustangs: Carlitos, Maximus, Enrique, his herd mates, they didn’t have any complications, how could this be? Then, my mind and body went numb, I couldn’t breathe, so I sat quietly at the airport and listened.

He told me the BLM management wanted to make a statement about Antonino’s death, but Delta had asked them to wait until they could tell me; they didn’t want me to hear about it from the media. He told me how upset they were at Delta and they knew it was devastating news. I thanked him for their compassion, and told him I was sorry as I know they truly care for the mustangs at Delta, too. He told me the BLM statement will be released on Monday. Please know, I have no idea what it will say.

The vet report said they didn’t proceed with gelding; that Antonino died from possible cardiac arrest from the anesthesia. This is the “medical” reason.

In my heart, I know this may be partially true. But, I have watched this magnificent mustang in holding over the past 5 months. We all have seen his sadness in the photos I’ve shared. He lost his freedom, his family; then, his two best friends were adopted and taken away a few weeks ago. If you ask me, I believe he died of a broken heart. With his freedom and family gone, he didn’t know I was coming. In just a few short weeks, I would have been there to take him away….

I know this is a lot to digest, but I wanted to let you all know personally, as Delta did for me. We all fought so hard for him, and prayed for him. I’m so sorry I will not be picking Antonino up the last week of August. I’m so sorry, he will not be meeting his family at the sanctuary. I’m so sorry, we will not see him running free again on this Earth. I do pray we will see him running free in our dreams.

At this point, I must try to lift my heavy heart as I remember his herd mate is waiting. And, I ask you to do the same. There is an empty spot on the trailer now. Another Sulphur herd mate still waiting in holding can take his spot, but we know he will never fill the void.

Feel Good Sunday: One Singular Moment of Pure Equine Joy

“With all that is going on in the world, today, we decided to give you just one moment of pure, unadulterated joy and call it good.  Simple, to the point and directly from the horse’s heart.  Keep the faith my friends.” ~ R.T.


21 Alleged Stray Horses Killed in Wyoming

Unedited article from The Casper Star-Tribune

“Have Wyoming’s Welfare Ranchers Raised the Bar on their Wild Horse War?”

Dead HorseTHERMOPOLIS — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it’s investigating the killing of 21 stray horses on federal and state land northwest of Thermopolis.

A BLM spokesperson said the horses were found Wednesday. Investigators believe they were killed sometime in the last two weeks.

Wild horses also roam parts of northern Wyoming but BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith said Friday these horses were stray domestic horses.

The horses were abandoned on public land and have been seen running loose for the past few years, Beckwith said.

Beckwith declined to provide additional information including whether the horses may have been shot or poisoned. She said the BLM doesn’t want to compromise the investigation by federal, state and local officials by disclosing too much information.

The BLM is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.

The Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Department, state officials and a local brand inspector are assisting with the investigation, according to a news release.

In 2010, the Hot Springs County undersheriff shot and killed a horse 100 feet from its owner’s home because he assumed it had been neglected and decided to put it out of its misery.

Chris and Larry Bentley later settled a lawsuit with former undersheriff David Larson, who agreed to pay the cost of the horse along with legal fees.

In a separate suit, a jury awarded the couple $25,000, saying a Sheriff’s Department policy that allowed deputies to kill sickly or dangerous animals was too broad and infringed on the Bentleys’ constitutional rights.

Under Wyoming law, abandoned horses that come under the care of the state can be sold to cover the cost of their care, or euthanized by a veterinarian.

People who abandon horses can be required to pay costs required for the state to round up and care for the animals, and may face fines or jail time.

Within the Dark Cloud of Cecil’s Murder Shines a Poignant Ray of Hope

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ Co-Founder/President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

courtesy of the Dodo.com

courtesy of the Dodo.com

For the past several days I have watched the internet and main stream media light up and go cosmic over the disgusting murder of a much revered wild lion named Cecil. Although sickened and angry over this act of arrogant, egotistical bloodshed I was amazed and caught off guard by the intensity and viral reaction to the death and murder of one animal while here in this country we can barely get a nod over the harassment, brutality, injury and even death rained down upon our own wild horses and burros.

For decades men born with no penises and tiny brains, or is that the other way around, have been ruthlessly hunting and killing Lions and Tigers and Bears and even our wild horses and burros. The difference is that in THIS country our federal government is doing the hunting and dishing out all of the misery.

So what makes this one lion different?

Why with all of the other news plaguing our cyberspace and air-waves does this one tragedy roar to the forefront?

What’s the deal?

…and then it occurred to me, “What difference does it make?”

This one gruesome act shocked and stunned me to the very depths of my soul and obviously it had a similar effect upon hundreds of thousands of others, if not millions. If this one death of a wild animal half way across the world lit up thousands of Americans then perhaps, just perhaps, their eyes are no longer closed to the fact that our own wildlife is under assault, not just from individual hunters but from the very government that is charged with protecting those that they demean. If the loss of Cecil accomplished that one, lone and singular feat then his death was by no means in vain; he lost his life so that others can live and in honor of his ill-fated sacrifice I will pledge to continue to push for the rightful salvation of all that is wild and all that is free.

Cecil, the world will miss you and yes, it is now a sadder place to live without your presence on that distant savanna but go in peace knowing that your message has been heard, your heritage will be preserved and that you are not going alone. We shall continue to fight for family, freedom and to keep all that is wild, wild.

There is an extremely large paw print on our collective hearts, this day.

Blondie the Horse’s Accident Raises Moral Questions about the Carriage Tour Industry

as published in The Charleston City Paper

Horse Ethics

Meet Blondie. He’s a quiet, well-mannered Belgian horse who spent most of his first 12 years working in the fields of Ohio Amish country. Human employees of his current owner, Old South Carriage Company in downtown Charleston, say they see him as a coworker.

Blondie's accident left him on the pavement for nearly two hours before a crane righted him - COURTESY OF CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY

Blondie’s accident left him on the pavement for nearly two hours before a crane righted him – COURTESY OF CHARLESTON ANIMAL SOCIETY

Blondie had only been in Charleston about 70 days when he fell down in the intersection of East Bay Street and North Adgers Wharf on his first tour of the day around 9:30 a.m. on Fri. July 17. The driver told police that noise from a nearby cement truck spooked Blondie and caused him to back up into the carriage. When he fell, he remained on the ground for at least two hours before a forklift was brought in to help him back to his feet.

Blondie’s accident has prompted yet another round of a familiar debate in Charleston: What to do about carriage horses? Some protesters gathered in the street last week calling for the tours to be banned, as they have in some other Southern cities. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released the following statement after the accident:

“Busy city streets are no place for horses, who are easily spooked by loud noises and commotion, so it should come as no surprise that Blondie’s collapse reportedly followed a scare. As temperatures in Charleston soared into the high 80s, temperatures where hoof meets pavement likely rose above 100 degrees. Blondie languished on that pavement for more than an hour before a crane was called in to lift him to his feet. This incident is yet another testament to the cruelty inherent in the horse-drawn carriage industry.”

The Charleston Animal Society, meanwhile, stopped short of calling for an end to the industry altogether, but it did successfully lobby the Mayor’s Office last week to order an independent veterinary review of the accident.

The moral questions of how humans ought to relate to horses hinges on some fundamental assumptions about the nature of the relationship between man and beast. Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University with expertise in human-animal interactions, says horses are a prime example of what he calls “the moral confusion that we have about animals generally.” Herzog dealt with this confusion in his book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals.

Historically, horses fit into the category of livestock or working animals. In some cultures, they were even treated as meat animals. But today, with animal labor no longer playing a central role in transportation or production in urban areas of the developed world, Herzog says their category is shifting.

“Horses are now what are sometimes referred to as a boundary species, and that’s the problem. In some ways they’re working animals and we see them as working animals, and in other ways we see them as pets,” says Herzog.

Add to that moral confusion the anachronistic appearance of a beast of burden lumbering down a modern city street, and Herzog says it’s no wonder that a diversity of opinions exists on how the horses ought to be treated.

“The degree to which we anthropomorphize animals partly depends on the category they’re in,” Herzog says. “So we’re more likely to anthropomorphize a horse than we would, let’s say, a cow.”

The welfare of horses is not a new cause for animal-rights activists. At its founding in New York City in 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals made the protection of horses one of its first concerns, campaigning against city-sanctioned practices that overburdened carriage horses and even creating the first ambulance for injured horses.

Today, according to Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore, the city of Charleston could do more to ensure the safety of horses on hot summer streets. “We all know the carriage horse industry is controversial. Everybody in Charleston knows that,” Elmore says. “We’re focused on the accident and what can be learned from that to prevent this from happening again.”

Elmore, who has asked that the Charleston Animal Society be allowed to participate in the accident review, says the initial report from police raised several questions in his mind, both for the carriage company and the city.

“If what was stated is true and the horse reacted to the cement mixer truck, how are the horses operating now? Are they still going by that cement mixer truck each day?” Elmore says.

“The other thing was, in the police report, there were 10 passengers. Why weren’t any of their statements recorded to corroborate what the carriage horse operator said? I mean that’s just basic … If a Delta Airlines plane were to go down, you know you’d have the NTSB, which is an independent group, really investigating it. You wouldn’t have the airport or the airline providing the information.”

Elmore says he’d also like to see a review of city policies meant to keep carriage horses from overheating in the summer months. An ordinance currently requires tour companies to pull their carriages off the streets when the ambient temperature reaches 98 degrees or the heat index reaches 125, but Elmore says the city should reconsider the location for its official thermometer, which is currently several blocks north of the Market on Calhoun Street and affixed to a three-story building.

Shawn Matticks, a manager at Old South Carriage Company, says he doesn’t have a problem with submitting to an independent investigation, but he doesn’t see the need.

“If that floats their boat, let them do it,” Matticks says. “I don’t think there’s a need to because it’s pretty straightforward. I don’t know what else they’re going to find that is going to be contrary to what happened. They can come look at our records, they can talk to the police officer on the scene. It doesn’t change the narrative.”

Last Tuesday, with the heat index around 115 degrees in the afternoon, Old South made the decision to bring its horses in from the heat, despite the fact that city ordinances would have allowed them to keep working. Matticks says the company lost money because of the decision, but they decided it was best for the horses.

According to Matticks, on the day of Blondie’s accident, he got a call from his driver and ran the half-mile to the scene to help. He says he, his staff, and a veterinarian tried using water, ice, and even intravenous steroids to help coax Blondie back onto his feet, but they determined that the horse had lost blood circulation to two feet from lying on his side. His feet had fallen asleep, essentially.

Matticks says the company’s veterinarian determined that Blondie’s body temperature, breathing, heart rate, and hydration were all fine. Blondie is resting at the company’s pasture on Johns Island now, but he says the horse’s only injury from the accident was some abrasion to his legs from the asphalt.

On the day of the accident, Matticks says he wasn’t thinking about business. He says he was thinking about a coworker.

“When I came up on the scene and saw Blondie laying there, I didn’t see Blondie the horse or ‘Oh my God, my people aren’t going to finish their tour,'” Matticks says. “I saw my coworker laying there on the ground, and I was trying to get him back up.”

2016 Wild Horse Freedom Federation Calendar

Front Cover

Front Cover

WHFFCalendarJanuaryOver 60 beautiful photos by Carol Walker of the wild horses living in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area in Wyoming grace this 2016 calendar. From the small foals to the powerful, mature stallions, Carol’s images capture the spirit and beauty of the wild horses in this Red Desert herd.

50% of all the proceeds from sales of this calendar will go to Wild Horse Freedom Federation

(Available here) beginning August 2015

Saving the near extinct donkeys of Bonaire with Marjorie Farabee (Wild Horse Freedom Federation) and Sean Paton (BICEPS Bonaire) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 7/29/15)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , July 29, 2015

4:00 pm PST … 5:00 pm MST … 6:00 pm CST … 7:00 pm EST

Listen to the live show (Here!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

_____________________________________________

 Our guest tonight will be SEAN PATON, a freelance writer and journalist, radio host (Forum Antilles) and active environmentalist, who lived on Bonaire for 12 years, is founder of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) BICEPS BONAIRE (Bonaire Island Coastal & Environmental Protection Society) and BICEPS WORLDWIDE.

Tonight’s show will be hosted by MARJORIE FARABEE, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, the Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (home of TMR Rescue) and founder of Wild Burro Protection League.  Marjorie spent 6 weeks (2 trips) investigating the donkeys of Bonaire.

marjorieandabbywhff

Marjorie Farabee

P8190153-Sean-studio

Sean Paton

_______________________________________________________________________________

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

TO LISTEN TO THE MOST RECENT ARCHIVED SHOWS:

1/28/15 – John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance, with an update on horse slaughter issues. Listen HERE.

2/11/15 – Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, and Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation: The PZP debate. Listen HERE.

2/18/15 – Gail Fagan, spokesperson for Help Alberta’s Wildies (HAW), a group of concerned Canadians who have been fighting to save the remaining wild horses, called “wildies,” from being culled in Alberta, Canada. Listen HERE.

2/25/15 – Janine Blaeloch, Founder & Director of Western Lands Project (fighting to keep public lands public) on industrial solar plants, and BLM & Forest Service land swaps. Listen HERE.

3/4/15 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation with an update of the Wyoming checkerboard case and the captured wild horses. Listen HERE.

3/25/15 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation & Sean Paton, founder of BICEPS Bonaire and radio host of Forum Antilles, talk about the endangered donkeys of Bonaire. Listen HERE.

4/8/15 – Erik Molvar, the Sagebrush Sea Campaign Director for WildEarth Guardians, talks about retiring livestock grazing permits, oil and gas issues, a uranium mine in Wyoming and public lands issues. Listen HERE.

4/15/15 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation on western wild horses under siege. Listen HERE.

5/6/15 – Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Simone Netherlands, founder of respect 4 horses organization, on the BLM’s plans to remove wild burros from the Black Mountain HMA in Arizona. Listen HERE.

5/13/15 – HOWARD LYMAN, (featured in Cowspiracy and author of “Mad Cowboy” and “No More Bull.”) Lyman stated his opinion of the risk of Mad Cow disease on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996, and he, Oprah and Harpo productions were sued by Texas cattlemen.  Listen HERE.

6/17/15 – R.T. and Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation on equine disaster preparedness and evacuation.  Listen HERE.

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE:

*SM – Service Mark

Nunki, the last wild horse on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island, dies

Wild Horses of Abaco's photo.

source: wild horses of Abaco facebook

From Milanne Rehor:

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have to tell you, our faithful fans and followers, of Nunkis passing on July 23rd.  Nunki was over 20 years old, which is quite remarkable for her.  She passed peacefully and painlessly in the loving arms of her caretaker and friend of over 20 years Milanne Rehor (Mimi) and with friends Avener and Dr Bailey at her side.  Her over stressed liver finally gave up.  On this saddest of days as we all try to wrap our heads and our hearts around what has happened, I wanted to reflect on a few things and share them with all of you.

Let us remember that our goal and mission was for this breed and for Nunki…and that goal still remains the same…trying to preserve this breed for future generations and to make what has gone wrong right again. And even though Nunki is now gone that mission does NOT change.  We will continue to work towards the return of the herd, and with Nunkis DNA that is still possible.  So let us not forget why we ALL joined together, why we were friends to Mimi, the Team and most of all Nunki and her kind, because we all cared enough to want to make a difference, and our work is NOT done.

Let us all keep Mimi, Avener and Jean in our thoughts and prayers, because no one knew or loved Nunki more than they did.  May Nunki rest in peace, I know she is kicking up her heels, whinnying to all those that have gone before her, with the wind whipping thru her mane.  We look forward to continuing to work with all of you on her re-birth.

May God Bless Us All, and help us be successful on this incredible mission that we have ALL come together to accomplish.

Rest in Peace Sweet Nunki

___________________________________________________________________________________

SOURCE:  abcnews.go.com

Last wild horse dies on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island

By DAVID McFADDEN Associated Press

The last of the wild horses on Great Abaco island in the Bahamas has died, prompting caretakers to collect tissue for possible cloning and hopefully bring back a viable population.

Milanne Rehor, project director for the Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society, said Tuesday that a U.S. veterinarian removed tissue from the dead mare and the material has just been shipped to an animal cloning technology company in Austin, Texas.

“We are sad at the loss. But we are also optimistic because we do have a crack at bringing the herd back,” said Rehor, a 71-year-old New York native who has spent over two decades trying to preserve the wild horses in the northern Bahamas.

Some 60 years ago, as many as 200 wild horses grazed and trotted freely through the scrubland and forests of Great Abaco, which was once logged for its pine trees.

The horses were imported from Cuba in the late 1800s by a logging company. When the company switched to tractors for pulling logs in the 1940s, the animals were set free and went feral.

The wild horses flourished for a time, then a young child died while trying to ride one of the horses after it had been tamed and townspeople killed all but three of the herd in the early 1960s, according to Rehor’s organization.

The herd rebounded to about 35 animals by the mid-1990s with the help of Rehor and other enthusiasts who secured a preserve for the horses in Abaco’s Treasure Cay. But the remaining horses were sickened by poisonous plants, pesticides and herbicides and were unable to reproduce. The last one, a roughly 20-year-old mare called Nunki, died in recent days.

Rehor, who lives on a boat moored in Abaco, said she lost a “wonderful companion.” She hopes Nunki’s cells can be reproduced and one day a foal can be bred with DNA from a living stallion.

Ernest Cothran, a clinical professor at Texas A&M University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences who has studied Abaco’s wild horses, said he would be surprised if the cloning plan succeeds. “I would not say it is impossible, however,” he said.

Ricky Bobby the diaper-wearing donkey finds home in Decatur, TX

as published on The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“There is no doubt he is our baby”

This Ricky Bobby is a real jackass.

But the Wilson family just loves him.

Donkey Ricky Bobby has been adopted by Johanna Wilson, a staff member of the Humane Society of North Texas. - photo by Joyce Marshall

Donkey Ricky Bobby has been adopted by Johanna Wilson, a staff member of the Humane Society of North Texas. – photo by Joyce Marshall

The Bethlehem donkey, almost two months old, is nearly housebroken. He sometimes wears Depends for Women and there are pee pads on the floor.

Ricky Bobby sleeps in the bedroom with Johanna and Terry Wilson of Decatur.

A German shepherd-Great Dane mix named Beulah acts as a sort of nanny for the 20-pound donkey.

“He thinks he’s a mix between a dog and a horse,” Johanna Wilson said, breaking into a giggle. “There is no doubt he is our baby.”

Ricky Bobby’s story was nearly a tragedy.

His mother was one of 142 donkeys seized by officials in April and May from a feedlot in Kaufman County and a site in Louisiana, animals that were headed to slaughterhouses in Mexico. Officials estimate that the number of donkeys being held in Texas border towns awaiting slaughter in Mexico increased by 214 percent in the last year.

“They were sick so they had to be quarantined in Crowley,” said Whitney Hanson of the Humane Society of North Texas. The donkeys were Bethlehems, paints and miniatures. “They had respiratory problems and pneumonia.”

Dozens of the jennies were pregnant, including Ricky Bobby’s mother, who gave birth to him June 8 in Crowley at a quarantine facility operated by the Humane Society of North Texas.

Born premature, he weighed about 10 pounds — a normal donkey birth weight is 20 pounds.

“The day before, another donkey had given birth and as soon as Ricky Bobby was born his mother went straight to that other baby,” Johanna Wilson said Thursday. “She just rejected Ricky Bobby. We tried to get that other jenny to take Ricky Bobby, but she wouldn’t.”

Officials called the Wilsons to help. Johanna Wilson is a staff member with the Humane Society of North Texas. The couple owns a ranch near Decatur, which the humane society leases for horses and livestock.

The Wilsons adopted the new donkey, brought him to Decatur, bottle-fed him and gave him medications around the clock for the first few days.

Johanna Wilson named him Ricky Bobby after the character Will Ferrell played on Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby.

“In that movie, Will Ferrell had the line, ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last,’” Wilson said. “He was born, and another baby got milk from his mother and then got milk from Ricky Bobby’s mother. Ricky Bobby was last, and that made me think of that line.”

But Ricky Bobby isn’t last in the Wilson household. He’s loved and fed goat’s milk and milk pellets four times a day, enough to help him gain 10 pounds.

Along with Beulah, the Wilsons have four other dogs: Biscuit, Sug, Trish and Coco, all play partners for Ricky Bobby.

His other farm friends include four silkie chickens, three hogs and at least five horses at the Six Ds Ranch.

The Wilsons have six daughters and one son.

Johanna Wilson plans to keep Ricky Bobby somewhat homebound until the end of summer.

“I have to make sure he can exist on his own and can get away from any problems,” Johanna Wilson said, sounding like a mother talking about her child. “I think we’ll get to a point that we will be able to leave him in the barn.”

She also has Ricky Bobby’s career laid out. She sees him as a goodwill ambassador who will go to schools and nursing homes, comforting patients and educating children about donkeys.

Ricky Bobby was a big hit at the First Baptist Church Crowley, where he met with autistic children last month.

The little guy seldom leaves Johanna Wilson’s side.

“I think donkeys make the best pets,” she said. “You have to love and care for them, and once you do that, they are very devoted to you.”

Feel Good Sunday: Da Vinci, The Chestnut Foal, Always Has A Horse On His Back

Chestnut foal has unique marking which runs up his left shoulder and neck

It looks like an optical illusion but this chestnut foal was born with his own perfect white shadow.

The unique marking is the profile of another horse which runs up his left shoulder and neck.

It then merges seamlessly from white to black into his mane.

Da Vinci

The pattern is such a work of art that the foal’s owners have called him Da Vinci, or Vinny for short.

He was born at the start of May at Fyling Hall riding school at Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire.

Wendy Bulmer, who runs the riding school, said: ‘I bought his mother at a sale and didn’t know she was in foal [pregnant] so that was a bit of a surprise.

‘I wasn’t very happy at first but he is so friendly and the kids love him.

‘The chestnut horses have irregular patches but they don’t normally make something as recognisable.

‘He’s even got a little white heart shape on his bottom as well.’