By the time she got here she was dirty with the world: I would only go in the paddock with a rake.- Libby Buttress
On arrival, horse 106 was “a cranky bitch”. Walking out to feed the newly-arrived horse, Libby Buttress carried a rake for protection.
The Follyfoot Equine Rescue owner had just saved the mare from being turned into horse-meat for the European market.
Ms Buttress said 106 was bred to race, but didn’t make it: “She wasn’t even named”.
Instead, the bay standardbred went to the Echuca sales, then Shepparton Meats, and then spent weeks in the yard of a transport company.
“By the time she got here she was dirty with the world: I would only go in the paddock with a rake,” Ms Buttress said.
“We left her alone for a while and just fed her.”
It took a few weeks of care at Follyfoot before 106 could be handled.
Now she needs a name.
“We are running a competition to raise funds and find names for three rescue horses,” Ms Buttress said.
She said people could make a donation and throw their preferred name into the hat: “All the details are on the Follyfoot Equine Rescue Facebook page”.
The rescue organisation is the result of a lifetime of horsey passions.
“I started riding when I was eight,” Ms Buttress said.
“We were city-slickers; I went to an old riding school on Sydney's Northern Beaches.
Ms Buttress was in her teens before she got her first pony, Al Capone.
“He had a scar down his face and he would escape all the time. And let other horses out too,” she said.
It was an era when roaming horses were impounded, and Al Capone was a regular inmate.
“With up to eight of his mates,” Ms Buttress said.
Ms Buttress worked at a riding centre and has competed in jumping and endurance.
She has been personally rescuing horses for quite a few years.
“We setup Follyfoot in July this year.
“These days, it’s important to be accountable; formalising it gives people confidence.”
She said Follyfoot did not rescue horses to resell them, but would adopt out suitable horses for a $1500 fee.
“That helps ensure the new carer can afford to feed and look after the horse and we recover some of our costs,” Ms Buttress said.
“Then we can help another horse.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.