Sadly, we had to say goodbye to our beautiful girl, Cleo.

Cleo was a 31-year old Thoroughbred mare who we rescued at the age of four, back in 1995. Speed is the marker by which Thoroughbreds are judged. Only so many of the animals bred for the racing industry actually make the cut and competition is fierce. Cleo was not fast enough for the track, and sustained an injury to her knee. Still considered useful, she was leased as a “test” mare. This role saved her from going to slaughter, but she needed medical attention which she never got. She was in bad shape. Cleo could barely walk when she stepped off the trailer at Mylestone. It was clear she needed significant care.

Her rehabilitation at Mylestone began, and she sailed through like a champion. Soon Cleo was able to run the paddock with her companions. True to her Thoroughbred heritage, she was both sensitive and courageous. She could be both timid and a handful all at once. Cleo was very temperamental and required an experienced handler. She gradually became friendlier and more willing to let people pet her over the fence. Because she had been abused in the past, she was very fearful, and we realized that this was a big step for our sensitive girl.

Cleo, left, with her paddock mate, Piper

Cleo had major dental surgery done several years ago. She had a dental disease which is called Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis. It was very painful, and it caused her front teeth to grow abnormally large and cause gum deformities. We had to have her front teeth removed, which is why her tongue used to stick out, but she did much better. She loved her mash and hay.

Although Cleo was in exactly the same paddock, she had moseyed over to the Sanctuary Horse herd and was no longer available for adoption. As Cleo was aging, and because of her past, we felt she would be happiest and most secure remaining here at Mylestone, where she loved being cared for, also knowing her sponsors adored her.

Cleo had been healthy until a bout of Anaplasma made her very ill in late 2022. She had a fever over 104 and despite treatment, she developed neurological symptoms to the point she became unbalanced and wasn’t eating. We had no choice but to have her humanely euthanized. We all miss her greatly.

Read Cleo's memorial.

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