McKinney Caretaker Fights To Save Blind Horse

MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – With a well-worn hide and eyes clouded by age, the thoroughbred known as Chance can still stand as tall and proud as he did during his younger show horse days.

He’s old, and he’s blind. Monetarily, he’s not worth much. But a McKinney resident has pooled more than $1,000 to keep him alive.

“He’s loving, he’s sweet, he’s kind,” said Cheryl Joseph, who has served as the horse’s caretaker since his owner brought him to a horse farm for boarding three years ago.

When that owner was told that Chance was losing his sight, she sent an email to Joseph announcing her intention to euthanize the 20-year-old horse.

“I know now that the only and greatest gift I can give him is to let him go,” Joseph recalled the email saying.

But the caretaker isn’t about to let the horse go: She offered to buy Chance for $1,500, but the owner rejected it.

“I think, especially since he lost his sight, we adore him even more,” Joseph said. “It’s awful; it will break my heart if he gets put down because there’s no reason. It would be like saying a blind person can’t function.”

He may be blind, but Chance is a healthy and happy horse, his caretaker says, and may live up to another 10 years.

“They’re only supposed to euthanize a horse if there are no other options and there is another option for this horse,” Joseph said.

Chance’s owner did not respond to repeated emails or calls requesting comment. But her decision concerns other horse owners.

“My feeling as a horse owner is that elderly horses, as long as they’re not in pain, should be able to live out their life normally,” said Sara Draper, a horse owner.

An attorney for Chance’s owner said “At this time, the owner has decided not to euthanize the horse and move him to another facility.”

This worries Joseph, who said the blind horse knows where his water and food are now and has a friendly mustang that leads him around.

If she buys the horse, Joseph knows he may not live long – but she says she’s willing to take a chance on Chance.

More from J.D. Miles
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  • Bryan

    I can’t give much, but I will donate to help your cause…

    • Tex83

      Texas iive stock laws need to be changed. A hourse is considered to be property, like a piece of furniture.

  • Carole Sanders

    Moving this sweet old darling would be inhumane. He’ll have to learn is way around all over again, this time without the help from his buddy. As long as he has no other health problems there’s no reason to kill him. Hell, I’m surprised they’re not sending him to freaking slauter. I can’t believe this idiot turned down $1,500. They clearly have more money than good sense.

  • Eden Hunt

    Please tell me what I can do to help- I am happy to donate and to do anything I can to persuade the owner to sell the horse. How do we contact the people involved. There is no reason to move this horse except for spite. That and she will probably euthanize him as soon as he is moved to the new place.

  • Sherri Gerstenkorn

    I board my horses at Hoofbeats, where Chance lives and see him everyday. He is a happy, healthy horse and has a little mustang that takes care of him. Chance is blind but it does not mean he is not happy. He has a lot of people that love him at the facility. There is a young girl that goes out and brushes him and loves on him everytime she comes out and it would be a shame to have to explain to her why Chance is not there any more. I have never seen the owner of Chance and I have boarded out there for years. I just wish the owner would come out and talk to the people that actually see him everyday and get their opinions on his quality of life; I think she would change her mind.

  • Andrea

    I feed and help take care of the horses at Hoofbeats, where Chance lives. He is a lovely horse and seems to have an excellent quality of life. He is happy and healthy, with no major issues other than his blindness. He always nickers his “hello” whenever I am there and is excited to get his feed (and the owners of Hoofbeats definitely don’t skimp on that — he gets an excellent quality feed for senior horses). He seems to enjoy hanging out with the little mustang who shares a pasture with him and even bosses him around sometimes!

    Chance is a lovely, sweet horse who deserves to live out his retirement in a place he is comfortable and happy. Just because he cannot be ridden anymore does not mean that he should be discarded like a broken toy. He is a living creature that deserves our love and kindness. I could understand euthanizing him if he was in pain or hurting, but he has a good quality of life and he should be able to experience his happy, relaxing life as long as he can. Everyone at the barn would be devastated to see Chance go.

  • Elizabeth LaPrade

    How very sad! I will pray for a change of heart for the owner! Hoofbeats is an excellent place to live out final days, I wouldn’t mind camping out there myself in my old age! He’s well cared for and well loved, and knows his way around, what more could the owner ask for?

  • Ann Thompson

    If this owner had a blind child would she euthanize him or her? Of course not!
    Why does Chance, who is one of Gods creations, deserve any less?

  • Sara Draper

    Mr. Miles and his photographer did a good job with Chance’s story. They showed how sweet and alive Chance is. He is well tended to, is outdoors in a safe environment, and has a buddy. What more does a horse need at any age?
    The owner’s gift to her horse should be the opportunity to live in peace.

  • Misty

    There is no reason to either euthanize or move the horse. Obviously, this owner is not thinking of what’s best for Chance. Hoofbeats is offering him love, companionship, and a life. Why take that away?

  • Valerie

    Just absolutely heartbreaking. How can someone even consider doing this? I could understand if the horse was suffering, but it sounds to me like the owner just does not want the “hassle”. If that is the case, then that is ok. But sell Chance to someone who will love him and take care of him. Do not move him where you can put him down “secretly”. Please let me know if there is a way to help save Chance. Again, just absolutely heartbreaking. :’(

  • Stephanie G

    Please, please, please don’t put this poor horse down. He has every right to live. Please think this over before you do it. Sounds like he is doing great where he is. Why would you want to change that?

  • Victoria Smith

    Chance deserves the opportunity to live his final days in peace. Watching this story, I was truly moved by the support and care he has at Hoofbeats. I don’t understand why putting him down is even an option at this moment. Please, save Chance.

  • Suzanne Shuping

    We board our horse at Hoofbeats, and I know that no one there would oppose euthanizing Chance if he were suffering in any way. I see Chance every time I am there, and he is healthy, happy, and spoiled by all. My 9 year old daughter loves him with all her heart, and he loves her, too! How do I explain to her that Chance’s owner is going to kill him? I can not understand why they just don’t let Cheryl buy him. Chance has been at Hoofbeats for 3 years, and I am told the owner has only been out there to see him 1 time! It is truly shameful.

  • Amy S

    What a sad story! I hope the owner will reconsider selling Chance so he can live out the remainder of his life with people who love and care for him.

  • Derilynn

    I hope this story brings enough attention to persuade the owner to re-think her decision! It sounds like Chance has a lot of friends in his corner with a lot of love to give. What a hearbreaking story. I hope she changes her mind!! :(

  • Stacy

    This is appalling. Blind horses do just fine when paired with sighted horses or kept in a familiar environment. Moving Chance away from the people and horses he knows is the cruelest thing his owner could possibly do. It’s clear he is happy and well-cared for. Why in the world would she insist on euthanizing or moving him? I hope to see a follow-up on this story.

  • Maggie

    If I was a bettin’ woman I’d say this woman is probably moving Chance so she can then euthanize him later out of the thumbnail of this publicity. Or sell him to a slaughterhouse.

    Sad, sad, sad. And ridiculous considering she has an offer to buy!

  • Carole Sanders

    Is there any way to find out if all these comments has done any good and what finally happens to sweet Chance? I would imagine there are many others that would like to know the outcome & if their comments changed the heart of his owner.

  • Gale David

    I have a blind, nearly deaf 28 1/2 yr old gelding here. He is happy just to be near “his mares”. Though sightless, he always finds them. His nickers are happy. Chance deserves to live and be loved. There MUST be a way to stop this owner from ending a life that means so much to so many! SPCA, NTHS, SOMEONE????

  • Jana

    If given an offer from someone, why can’t they let the horse stay where he’s comfortable and happy? I don’t understand why they would want to move him. Let Chance stay!

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