Phoenix is a horse that was rescued and adopted by Skydog Sanctuary. When he arrived at the sanctuary, he was introduced to several other male horses and he seemed to make friends, but was always a little standoffish.
Clare Staples, who runs the sanctuary, was motivated to rescue Phoenix when she saw a remarkable picture of him jumping over a high fence. In other photos that she saw of the horse, he was regularly pictured with a mare.
While Clare was able to track down and rescue Phoenix, she couldn’t seem to locate the mare, even though she really wanted to bring them to the sanctuary together. Undeterred, she continued her research and tried her best to track down the mare that Phoenix seemed so fond of.
She remembers how Phoenix was at the beginning of his life at the sanctuary:
“I would go up to Phoenix and he would be staring off like he was looking for something, scanning the horizon. He was still searching, thinking he might see his family.”
Then after a few months of having Phoenix at her enclosure, Clare was sent a picture of a mare that needed to be rescued. Her heart dropped as she realized it was the very mare she had been hoping to reunite Phoenix with. She decided she needed to do everything in her power to bring the mare to her sanctuary.
Clare decided to call her Ghost, as seeing the picture after so long was truly like seeing a ghost! When they managed to get Ghost to the sanctuary, they opened the gate and allowed her to run into the vast enclosure. At the time, Phoenix was on the other side of the hill, and had just appeared in shot when Ghost entered the field.
When Phoenix recognizes Ghost, he distinctly calls to her and approaches her with glee. It’s like he can’t believe that she’s in front of him! Clare recalls the emotional experience:
“I had tears rolling down my face because these wild horses had been separated for two years and in that moment, it was like they had never been apart.”
While not all of us realize it, family is so important to wild horses, as Clare explains:
“The bonds that they form are so precious and so deep that there isn’t any doubt that they know and love each other. They constantly touch their noses to each other just to check that they’re still there.”
What a wonderful story! It restores our faith in humanity that these fabulous horses have been reunited after such a long period apart. And it’s so beautiful to see that they don’t ever plan on leaving each other’s side again in the future.