Tiny WA town adopts second horse after rescue

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ABC Goldfields


Sam Tomlin


Laura Meachim


January 11, 2018 13:19:29

Sherrie the Night Mare was found malnourished, dehydrated and exhausted on the road to Kookynie, in Western Australia’s Northern Goldfields. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Laura Meachim)
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Kookynie 6431
Grand Hotel owner Kevin Pusey, who helped rescue Sherrie, has already adopted former pacer Willie (left); who wandered into Kookynie three years ago. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Laura Meachim )
“I can’t believe that anyone would have abandoned her, she’s too nice an animal,” Mr Pusey said.”She has clearly been looked after in her earlier life; she’s got manners and is very affectionate.”He thinks she may be a former pet who has gotten lost.While Willie, whose unique habits have seen him feature in Tourism WA advertising, has become a fixture of the town, Mr Pusey said the first focus with Sherrie was to nurse her back to full health.”She’s been showing gratitude in an emotional horse way,” he said.”The priority is what’s best for her; at the moment she’s more than happy where she is.”
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A horse walks into a bar Photo:
Sherrie is making a steady recovery under the Puseys care at the Grand Hotel. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Sam Tomlin)
Concerned she could suffer further injury, Mr Pusey and Sherrie walked the remaining 13km to town; eventually arriving home around 1:30am on Monday.Margaret Pusey said her husband and the horse were exhausted when they arrived home.”It was a long walk for a horse that was malnourished, so Kevin had to stop every kilometre or so for a rest,” Mrs Pusey said.”We couldn’t get her in the gate, until she spotted the lawn; suddenly she was straight in and hasn’t stopped munching.”Slow recovery, but horse on the mendWhile the situation on Sunday was touch-and-go — Mr Pusey was worried he would have to euthanise Sherrie — her condition is slowly improving.”Kevin laughed when I said I thought there were less ribs sticking out,” Mrs Pusey said.”She’s holding herself up stronger, but it’s still very early days yet.”Horse enthusiasts from Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the local RSPCA are assisting with the animal’s ongoing recovery.While Willie, the town’s first and more famous equine adoptee, was very clearly a working animal, Sherrie’s smaller stature has left the Pusey’s puzzled as to her origins. Photo:
Kookynie boasts a year-round population of between 10 and 20 people. A tiny WA town famous for adopting a lost horse, which now frequents the local pub, has banded together to rescue another starving animal.’Sherrie the Night Mare’, as she has been named, was dehydrated and injured when visitors spotted her struggling through bushland near Kookynie, 790km north of Perth, on Sunday.After spotting the lost horse around midday, Kalgoorlie couple Kristine and Jesse Woods drove into Kookynie, seeking help at the Grand Hotel.The Grand’s owners, Kevin and Margaret Pusey, are no strangers to horses, having adopted former pacer Willie Strikemore, who was found wandering near the town in similar circumstances three years ago.”[Kristine] showed me the photo of the horse and as soon as I saw her I thought ‘Wow, this is not good’,” Mr Pusey said. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Jarrod Lucas)
Recruiting the Woods, as well as several other locals having a drink in his front bar, the publican set out to find the badly wounded animal.The group eventually made it to where the horse had been spotted, but could not find any sign of the animal.With temperatures in the area soaring past 45 degrees Celsius in the preceding days, Mr Pusey conceded he was not confident.”We worked out where she was heading and tried to find a few tracks,” Mr Pusey said.”There was soft ground, hard ground, all sorts of stuff, a lot of other animal tracks as well.”It wasn’t clear where she was heading, she was delirious and wandering all over the place.”

Sherrie was badly injured, dehydrated and malnourished when the Kookynie locals found her. (ABC Goldfields-Esperance: Laura Meachim )
Rescued after two-hour searchAfter a couple of hours searching nearby bushland, the horse was found near-collapse in the shade under a tree.Mr Pusey said she appeared to have been attacked by wild dogs, and had visible injuries from sharp mulga scrub.”She’s only got one eye, we’re guessing she staked it running through the bush,” Mr Pusey said.Tending to the severely dehydrated animal, Mr Pusey sent one of the locals back to Kookynie for more food and water, as well as a trailer to bring the horse back to town.After coaxing Sherrie onto the trailer, the group began a very slow trip back to the pub, only for the horse to start panicking.
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