In Loving Memory of Joey

32+ years old  16 hand Bay Thoroughbred
Passed away June 5, 2003

Although I was told Joey was 15 years old when he came to me, in fact several veterinarians, upon examination of his teeth, advised me that he was at least a decade older than that. Thus, a best estimate of his age at death was 32-36 years old. Joey came to the Golden Carrot because a navicular condition and a couple of bad falls over the jumps had made him an unsuitable ride for his then-owners. He spent his last ten years at The Golden Carrot, giving occasional trail rides, and otherwise being Inch’s best friend, and the official Golden Carrot greeter of new residents. Joey was a 16.1 hand bay. His training was both English and Western, and in his time, he was a talented jumper. He had a gelding’s work ethic – “You do your job, and I’ll do mine”.  He was honest but tolerated no crap from his riders, unless they were children. He could be willful, and intimidating, but with the sound advice of Rosemary Cawood, I convinced Joey I was bigger than he was, and over the past decade he and I developed a deep friendship and mutual respect. I last rode Joey two years ago, but on that ride, he convinced me that his riding days were over, and he spent the last years of his life in complete and happy retirement. Although his former owners never contributed in any way to his continued existence, or to the Golden Carrot in general, I will never regret the cost of having him with me.  As it will with us all, Time caught up with Joey this last month. Although his appetite remained good, he began to lose weight, and show signs of odd problems – improper assimilation of his food, bloody nose, and lethargy. He didn’t appear to be in pain, and ambled about behind Inch, apparently dozing the rest of his life away. But last week, I believe he may have had a dizzy spell or even a small stroke, which caused him to fall. He had scrape marks on his back for a day or two, and then suddenly in the same area, large swelling, and his last two days, he didn’t want to leave his stall. I contacted the vet, but it was my intention only to put him down, as I believed that this swelling would be causing him pain. It took 48 hours to get the vet out.  Joey departed this life after saying goodbye to Inch, with his whole herd around him. I swear there was a feeling of relief in the air, and no signs of distress from anyone. The next day, when Joey’s remains left the property, the entire herd gathered into a small bunch, all looking directly at the truck, heads up and ears pricked, and in unison called out a Goodbye to our friend Joey. He will be deeply missed.

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