Charlie and Flicka’s owner, *Alan*, has a long history with CHPA.  When Alan was a young boy, he used to open and close our gate in Epping for the cart horses coming and going.  When Alan turned 18, he passed his E53, a cart horse driver’s license, and started working.  Alan is a very good cart horse owner and driver.

Charlie got shot in the crossfire of gang shooting.

Charlie got shot in the crossfire of gang shooting.

Alan was not at home that dreadful day when Charlie was getting ready for work, when a gun fight between two rival gangs broke out.

Charlie was hit in the near fore!

Getting Charlie ready to be loaded into the horse box.

We rushed to the volatile scene where the police were on standby to help us into the area.  Charlie was immediately trucked to Blue Cross Vet.  The vet told us the bullet had hit the bone and caused too much damage.  Nothing could be done to save Charlie.

When Alan received the news, he was absolutely devastated.  Questions running through his mind, “it is my fault”, “I should have been there”, I did not get to say goodbye”, “I could have prevented this”.  The guilt was immense and loss incredibly painful for Alan.

Two years later, Flicka, Alan’s second working horse, contracted laminitis and was being monitored by our vets.  After Charlie had died, Flicka had become Alan’s new best friend and loyal partner.  She was gentle and such a sweet soul.  On Flicka’s next vet visit and after x-rays were taken, Flicka was diagnosed with chronic laminitis and was in so much pain.

We could do nothing to help her.

Dr. Lauren and head farrier Ashley looking at Flicka’s x-rays.

I have never in my six years working at CHPA, seen a cart horse owner cry from pure heartache.  Alan asked the vet if he could take Flicka home for the weekend so that he could say his goodbyes.  The vet agreed and sent them home with lots of pain meds.

Ficka’s handler kissing Flicka after receiving the bad news.

Alan made Flicka as comfortable as possible at home.  He gave her plenty of treats, water and Oathay.   He actually slept next to her in her stable and showered her with love, grooming, hugs and lots of kisses, things he could not do but wanted to, with Charlie.

Monday morning came, and Alan knew it was time to let her go.  Alan was with Flicka right up until the end, where she closed her eyes and took her last breath.

When you lose a horse, it can feel like losing a part of yourself as both Charlie and Flicka were central to Alan’s daily life.  Alan’s daily routine will never be the same again.  Their absence has left a significant void in Alan’s life as both their stables are now empty.

CHPA exists for horses like Charlie and Flicka, even in their last hours.  When it is their time, we humanely put the cart horses to sleep and give them a dignified ride to their place of rest.  Even these costs are extensive.

Please continue to help us provide the vital services we do for the cart horses working in the industry and their owners.  Alan will be forever grateful for us being there for him and his horses.

Your R50, R100 or R500 will help us help them.


*Alan is not his real name*