In 2008, tragedy struck the lives of Manie and his family. A fateful encounter with an unregistered car claimed Manie’s life, leaving his family devastated. At the time of the accident, Meisie, the family’s darling mare, was heavily pregnant.  Manie’s wife turned to us, asking if Meisie could have her foal at our Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre as they were not coping as a family.

Lady Bertha at the R&R with her mom Meisie.

The Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre was made possible through a generous bequest from Bertha Van de Vliet at that time. When Meisie arrived at the R&R, we were so excitement of welcoming our first foal to be born there. In honor of Bertha’s extraordinary gift, we would name the newborn foal Lady Bertha if she was a girl.

On August 8, 2008, Meisie’s human mother visited her at the R&R after not seeing her for a couple of weeks.  As they reunited, they noticed the signs of imminent birth in Meisie. Ignoring the belief that mares give birth at night, Meisie chose to trust the safety and comfort of her human companion; Meisie gave birth to Lady Bertha that very day. It was a moment that encapsulated the power of human and animal connection.

Meisie and Lady Bertha remained at the R&R for an extended period of time but eventually it was time for them to return home, where they would spend their days mostly unburdened by work, grazing on the school field. Lady Bertha embarked on her own journey, giving birth to Black Princess years later. Their lives were also marked by limited labor, as they were treasured and cared for.

Black Princess who came in for a cut on her shoulder.

Eight months ago, Black Princess gave birth to Black Beauty. Over time, Black Beauty fell ill, prompting her owners to sign her over to our care. We trucked Black Beauty to Blue Cross vet, where she received a thorough check up. Through a carefully tailored regimen of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, Black Beauty slowly regained her strength.

Ironically, Black Beauty now finds herself at the very place where her story began—the R&R.

Black Beauty back at the R&R getting better by the day.

The tale of Meisie, Lady Bertha, Black Princess, and Black Beauty is a lovely story of mothers, daughters and grandmothers’ special bonds and places in our hearts.

Your support, be it R50, R100 or R500, is vital in enabling us to continue providing a place of safety for horses like Meisie and Black Beauty. Please donate today and become a part of our mission to protect and heal these extraordinary animals.