Meet Rupert a gentle giant of a horse who is helping Ricky Fenwick get over the brutal loss of his best friend in June…
Rarely does a story touch so many lives on social media as the story of Reiver, a dark bay 16-hand mare and Ricky, an Army veteran… theirs was a story of friendship, loyalty and proof – if ever it were needed – of the healing power of horses.
Hundreds of people from all over the country were outraged when Reiver was taken from her field by heartless thieves. Ricky made an impassioned appeal for help in recovering his highly-trained mare. And his appeal touched animal lovers everywhere who offered help and support, and mourned with Ricky when she was found days later dead in a ditch.
Now with the help of his new mount Rupert, a pure Irish draught horse, who Ricky says has the same lovable and trusting qualities of Reiver, he’s once again back in the saddle and enjoying life. He says he can’t repay the support he’s been offered from The Household Cavalry Foundation, and to his local community who have compassionate and kind. “Rupert is a true pedigree horse. He’s a gentle giant standing at 16.2- hands, and although we’ve only been together a short time I can sense we already have a friendship and understanding.”
Ricky, (47) who lives in Chester- le- Street, County Durham said at the time of Reiver’s death: “I am absolutely heartbroken. I suffer from PTSD and Reiver changed my life. She made me the man I am now. I have had her for two-and-half years and trained her from the outset. When we got her she was wild horse and she became the best in the troop. Now she is gone and everybody is devastated. It feels like most of me has been stripped away.“
Mr Fenwick, served for ten years with The Life Guards, which is part of the Household Cavalry. The former lance corporal was on active tour in Bosnia in the late 90s, when his armoured vehicle was blown up by a landmine. While he was not wounded others were and the traumatic incident left him suffering from PTSD. He said: “I was on the scrap heap. The people I was with were nervous of me and I was asked to do something about it and see a horse therapist.”
Reiver proved to be Ricky’s salvation, and Rupert has big shoes to fill. But, as this picture shows, he is doing just fine, proving once again the healing power of horses.