The mystery of St Nick, rescued from the snowy Oregon wilderness

| 15 December 2013 8:27 am
St Nick eyes the volunteers from Sound Equine Rescue. Photos: Sound Equine Rescue/Facebook

St Nick eyes the volunteers from Sound Equine Rescue. Photos: Sound Equine Rescue/Facebook

A horse apparently left in the snowy Oregon wilderness in mysterious circumstances is now safely in care, and has been named St Nick in honor of the season.

Thanks for the food.

Thanks for the food.

St Nick was first sighted digging in snow for food in the woods by road workers.

The Oregon Department of Transportation crew first caught sight of him around 7am on Thursday in the Mt Hood area, alongside Highway 26.

They contacted Wasco County deputies, whose efforts to capture the horse were unsuccessful because he was too skittish.

However, they were able to get him safely away from the road where volunteers from the charity, Sound Equine Rescue, brought him hay for the night to encourage him to stay put and calm down.

Charity volunteers returned to the area the next day and – in a Christmas miracle of sorts – St Nick was waiting at the same spot.

A cunning trap.

A cunning trap.

St Nick, who appears to be about five years old, was again wary and refused to be caught, but the charity came well prepared. They were hauling a horse trailer and a portable corral.

St Nick was keen on the hay and eventually entered the corral to enjoy a snack and was captured.

He was then successfully loaded on the trailer and taken to a Portland equine hospital for assessment.

The charity said on its Facebook page that the transportation crew that first found St Nick had been worried, because the roads were dangerously icy and they feared he would cause a serious accident, injuring not only himself but anyone who hit him.

I'm outa here.

I’m outa here.

The workers followed his tracks to a nearby off-road, where it was obvious a truck and trailer had pulled over, turned the horse loose and taken off.

“There were no people tracks leaving the truck and trailer area, only horse foot prints – no-one went after him,” the charity reported.

They believe he was dumped either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Sound Equine Rescue says St Nick does not allow anyone close to him and does not appear to be halter broken.

However, he does have what looks like a scar from an ingrown halter at some point in his life.

“We think once he is not so frightened that he is going to be a real sweetheart.”

Anyone who recognises St Nick is asked to call the Wasco County Sheriff.

Safe in care in Portland.

Safe in care in Portland.


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Comments (9)

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  1. Jen says:

    Seems to me I saw a picture of this horse on some site for missing horses. Might have been here on facebook or another site. Just can’t remember

    • Wendi spencer says:

      Thos looks like the horse losr by patty brenden

      Patti Monk Brenden ▶ Stolen Horse International, Inc. aka
      OK I am needing some help from my FB friends: I have a very close friend that has a lost/ or stolen horse. His register name is Alahand. He is a registered paint horse. He is a 16.2 sorrel/tobiano gelding. He is 16 yrs old. Call name is Handy. PLEASE KEEP a eye out. PLEASE CALL: Dana or Jamie Baxley-Vire 812-681-0010 or 812-249-0135, or Patti Brenden 812-665-9350 or 812-699-9912 PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!!!!!!!!!! He was last seen at 9:30pm on Sunday night. Lost /stolen around Shelburn, IN area.

  2. sarah says:

    my brother rides the great NW mts. on a regular basis and has seen horses, fully saddled, standing at tie-rails with messages tacked to the saddles saying, “please take me home and love me. my owners can no longer afford to feed me.” fact. some, even tied to horse-trailers, the whole package, free for the taking!
    sad but true.
    at least, if they’re out there wandering, they have a last chance to be free and fight for life…but having been domesticated for so long…it’s not a fair fight.
    if you cannot afford a horse, please, don’t get one.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Could you post some better pictures? Can’t blow these up to get a good look at his markings

  4. Jody says:

    How is his health? Is he adjusting? Would love to come meet him.

  5. Derik says:

    Sarah, wish I could find some of those finds your brother does. I search for hours for something like that. It is sad to see horses deserted, a rescued horse makes a great companion. I have 2 proofs now and am looking for another.

  6. nradmaker says:

    The stolen paint on Craigslist is not this one. This one has different markings.

  7. carol says:

    daughters horse died if he is ride-able would love to give him a loving home

  8. Doug says:

    Have you checked with the Warm Springs Reservation. Highway 26 runs through the reservation on the SE side of Mt Hood & is open range through the forested section. I have seen lots of cattle on that stretch of road.

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