Victorious Valentino (“Victor”)
It is with a very heavy heart that we share that Victor was humanely euthanized on July 28, 2022, due to the progression of Navicular Syndrome and the degeneration of his navicular bone. We managed Victor’s condition for an unprecedented 14 years, thanks to the talent and dedication of our farrier, Beth Brown of B-B Equine Services, and our veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Jay. When Victor’s pain couldn’t be managed any more, we chose to end his suffering. He spent his last morning very peacefully in his pasture, surrounded by people who loved and cared for him.
Victor (Victorious Valentino) was a registered Quarter Horse, foaled in Florida on March 15, 2001. He was donated to CTR in September 2008 by Carla Perri, owner of Perri’s Leather in New London, PA. She had bought him as a western pleasure show horse, but when she discovered that he had navicular syndrome, she ended his career. He would have led a life as a pasture pet, but he had such a great personality and liked people, so she approached CTR about donating him as soon as we moved to a farm where we could grow our herd. The work we do at CTR suited his abilities and was less physically taxing.
Standing at 16.2 hands, Victor was the tallest horse in the herd. Though he was tall, he was very gentle and didn’t use his size to intimidate anyone. He loved cats! Mrs. Bigglesworth, CTR’s farm cat and official greeter, was his best friend. They loved to punk each other by jumping out or up when the other least expected it. Though their sizes were very different, they were very gentle with each other. Victor was bereft when Mrs. B. crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2010, Victor stood vigil over her grave for a week, grieving her loss.
Victor always made friends with every horse in the herd. He and Captain had a rough start though. Captain was used to being in large herds and positioning himself high in the pecking order. He and Victor had some clashes and after one particularly injurious night, they resolved whatever differences they had between them. They ended up being best friends.
Victor’s life consists of thousands of touching moments, funny stories, and unending kindness. He endured all of the things we do to horses in lessons. He’s worn costumes, had labels stuck all over his body, and packed around children and adults with the utmost care. He loved every aspect of the work we do at CTR. He was a stellar mount for adaptive riding and was our first choice to work in unmounted sessions and workshops. He was so expressive and a clear communicator. He was an honest horse who never did anything wrong or bad. He made a huge difference in thousands of people’s lives.
We will miss his deep and heartfelt nicker. We will miss his shenanigans of grabbing people’s hats, playing with any object in a lesson, and making his funny faces, especially his “wide-eye look”.
He was our handsome boy. Our forever champion. Everyone’s friend.
“My ladies have promised that I shall never be sold, and so I have nothing to fear; and here my story ends. My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my old friends under the apple-trees.”
~Anna Sewell, Black Beauty