Horses like Calvin are rare.
Horse people would call Calvin a packer, a horse that anyone could ride anywhere at any time through any conditions and that would make even the most novice rider feel calm and confident. Calvin displayed an uncommon combination of training and attitude. He had been trained to the highest levels, but that was only one of the reasons people of all ages and experience levels could ride him on mountainous trails. The other reason—and the most important—was his willing attitude. If he even thought he might understand what the rider was trying to get him to do, he would do it. (And this is not true of all horses. My Darcy insists that I ask correctly before she’ll do it.) And even though Calvin was big—16 hands—he was often ridden by children as young as three years old, and he was also used as a therapy horse in his owner Laura Daley’s California-based riding program.
This week, Calvin was killed in a horrific incident. Some thoughtless individual(s) drove to his pasture late Thursday (August 4) night with the sole purpose of stealing a couple fence panels, which were being used as the pasture gate. With the gate now gone, over the course of the night, the horses wandered out of their safe enclosure and into Tulloch Road and finally made it to Highway 108, a busy thoroughfare, where Calvin was struck by a bus.
Fortunately, no people were injured in the collision, but Calvin was killed instantly. And all because someone was intent on taking something that did not belong to them. To add further insult to their already abominable crime, which put the lives of countless motorists and horses in danger, the thieves returned the following night to take all the remaining fence panels from the property. By this time, the horses had been removed from the area and were safe. The police have been notified, but it will be a difficult crime to solve unless witnesses come forth.
Laura is planning to start a Facebook campaign to help find Justice for Calvin by spreading the word about what happened and asking for tips from anyone who might have seen someone loitering in the area in the days prior to the theft or who might have witnessed the crime, which took place on Tulloch Road in Jamestown, California, on Thursday evening (August 4). Rewards will likely be offered to those whose information leads to the prosecution of these criminals. (Donations can be made to the Justice for Calvin reward fund via Paypal associated with the email address justiceforcalvin(at)hotmail(dot)com.)
I never got to meet Calvin, but I knew a horse like him once, so I understand how special and rare he was. I also know that these special horses will live forever in our hearts through our memories of the times we spent with them.
Rest in peace, Calvin.