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WOODBINE — Veterinarian Peter O'Halloran and farrier Kenny Romjue carefully maneuvered Quest, an 18-year-old stallion, as they took X-rays of his overgrown hooves Monday afternoon at the Days End Farm Horse Rescue.
"I've never seen feet that long. It may take us a year to get his feet back in decent condition," O'Halloran said. "They will require weekly care to get into decent shape."
Quest and his companion Rio, an 18-year-old miniature stallion, were found during a welfare inspection of an unspecified Washington County farm to check on pet pigeons, according to Kim Intino. Another horse, a miniature mare, had to be euthanized on the property due to ruptured ligaments causing irreparable fetlock dislocation, which causes a deformity of the leg.
Intino, president and CEO of the Humane Society of Washington County, said it is standard practice during welfare inspections to check all animals on the property, which is how the horses were discovered. An investigation is ongoing.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization currently providing rehabilitation and ongoing care for 78 rescue horses, aided the Washington County Humane Society in the removal of the three horses.
"The horses were found in a stall piled high with 3 to 4 feet of manure, where it is suspected that they were locked up for at least 15 years without necessary farrier or medical care," said Caroline Robertson, the development director of Days End Farm Horse Rescue.