In the very first "Old Horses: Better with Age" blog post, I introduced you to a senior gelding named Shayne. A handsome liver chestnut gelding who loved to play in his pasture at the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary near Ingatestone, Essex, England, Shayne was believed to be the world's oldest living horse at 51 years old.
But as we know, all good things must come to an end--according to a report published last week by the Daily Mail, Shayne was euthanized at his longtime home last month. Shayne collapsed Feb. 22, the report said, and the staff at the sanctuary made the always difficult decision to put him to sleep when he was unable to rise. The Daily Mail reported that a British Horse Society representative said, in human years, Shayne would have been over 100. Talk about a good, long life!
While Shayne was believed to have held the title as the oldest living horse, the oldest horse on record is Old Billy, a British barge horse born in 1760. Old Billy was 62 years old when he died in 1822. And here's a fun fact: if you ever want to visit Old Billy, you can find his skull on display at the Manchester Museum in England.
Shayne and Old Billy got me thinking about the oldest equids I've known. The eldest horses in our family right now are Taz and Jessie, the Appaloosas who turned 27 and 26 years old, respectively, this year. But the oldest horse I've worked with and cared for was an old Thoroughbred named Dodger. When I left the Girl Scout farm several years ago, Dodger was 35 and still happily and comfortably teaching young equine enthusiasts how to ride. In fact, the only ways one could tell his age was to take a good look at his teeth and to listen to him talk—we all said he sounded like a grandpa.
I'd love to hear about the oldest horses you've had the pleasure of being around or working with. Share your experiences below!