Sunday, January 25, 2009

EBay Fundraiser: How Much Is a Horseshoe Off the Injured Inaugural Parade Horse Worth?

What will people pay for a dirty horseshoe? We'll find out soon. (Amy Manning photo)

Last week was a tough one for horses and horseshoes. When an Appaloosa named Mouse held up the Inaugural Parade for an hour while he was being extricated from a bumper-mounted winch that he somehow stuck his leg into, people were calling for horses to be banned from future parades. (The incident happened even before the parade began.)

The next thing that I heard was that the incident happened because he was shod with steel shoes. Had he been barefoot, I was told, he would not have slipped and fallen.

Photos showed the horse down on the ground with his hind legs up in the air, but these pictures were taken only after he was sedated, so that the SUV's bumper could be dismantled.

In earlier photos, the horse is standing stock still, with his hind leg caught between the winch and the bumper. This smart Appaloosa did not struggle or panic.

Brooke Vrany of Days End Farm Horse Rescue was on hand with the farm's ambulance and the horse was vanned off with a police and veterinary escort.

I thought this story was over, but it's not.

Enter the horse's owner, who was not, in this case, the rider. Amy Manning gave lots of background about her horse and the incident; her story matches Brooke's: Mouse backed up, encountered the winch on the bumper of the SUV and kicked back at it. When his leg was trapped, he waited for the vets, in this case, two US Army Veterinary Corps practitioners.

It turns out Mouse is a veteran of many parades and had stayed calm during a helicopter landing earlier in the day.

One reason Mouse stayed on his feet may have been that his shoes were liberally sprinkled with Borium. Without it, they would have been slippery on the pavement, it's true.

And tonight, Mouse's shoes have been pulled by his regular farrier, John Haven of Henderson, Maryland, and they are not hanging on a fence. Not laying on a tack trunk. Not bouncing around in the back of John's truck.

They're on eBay.

Amy Manning is very grateful to Brooke Vrany and Days End Farm Horse Rescue for the expertise that Brooke brought to the scene, and for their professionalism in spiriting the horse off through a crowd estimated at two million.

Days End Farm's ambulance and crew were at the parade site as volunteers, and received no compensation for their time or services, as is often the case when they attend to horses at the bottom of a ditch or crashed through the ice into a pond.

So the shoes that helped keep Mouse on his feet while he kept the new President of the United States waiting can be yours, and the money will go to Days End Farm Horse Rescue.

The shoes, by the way, are St Croix Xtras, and both the owner and the farrier reported that all the horsemen in the parade were given a manual for preparation, which included the requirement that every horse must be shod on all four feet with steel shoes and Borium or a similar hard-facing for traction. As you can see in the photo, Mouse's shoe has puddles on the toe and big nuggets on his heels.

Amy added another point of order from the rule book: she had to sign a release saying that she gave permission for her horse to be euthanized without warning in the event of a mishap during the parade.

One of the shoes has already had 12 bids and the auction only began today. A third shoe will be added tonight, and Amy will keep the fourth for her own memento.

I think one of them would look great hanging in the White House. Or your house!

Click here to view the first shoe and its eBay auction.

Click here to view the second shoe and its eBay auction.

Click here to view a news video showing Mouse recovering at the Days End Farm Equine Rescue Center in Maryland.

Click here to view the Days End Farm account of the mishap and learn more about their rescue operations. Days End works only with law enforcement cases and takes in only horses taken from owners, not those voluntarily surrendered. Its equine ambulance and emergency rescue service is active in teaching equine rescue and handling, as well as being out there on the front lines.

If you are not the eBay type and would like to send a donation, mail your check to Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Attn: Inaugural Parade Thank You, P.O. Box 309, Lisbon, Maryland 21765 USA.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to


Anonymous said...

Thank you Fran for digging in and getting the correct story out there. I hope that Mouse's shoes bring in $'s for the Days End Farm Horse Rescue. They are the true heros here.

HorseBox said...

They should bring good money, considering how expensive borium is! I keep my horses in it all year 'round, and it sure makes a difference on my farrier bill. But it also makes a difference, in a good way, on the roads!

Good luck to Day's End, and here's hoping these shoes make a lot of money for a good cause.