Thoroughbred racehorse finds solace on Langley farm

The BC SPCA is set to adopt its one-millionth animal this month. To commemorate the event, we’re profiling some of the adopters and adoptees.

November 17, 2015

By Kristina Matisic

Lisa Jacobsen is clearly a woman who’s up for a challenge. Never having owned a horse before (or anything larger than a pet snake) and barely having ridden one, she adopted thoroughbred Darius just five months ago from the BC SPCA.

“We just looked at each other and it was kind of it,” say Jacobsen. “I walked up to him and just put my arms around his neck and leaned up against him and I swear, he turned his neck and leaned up against me. It was just that, it was so right.”

With the guidance of a horse-trainer friend, Jacobsen had been considering getting a horse for some time when Darius (known then as Duke) became available. He had spent his first five years as a Thoroughbred racehorse, though he had raced only once. Jacobsen believes he may have been kept on as a companion horse to a better racer, to keep the animal calm.

In the following four years, Darius was seized twice after being found suffering from malnutrition and neglect. Now he has nestled into a new home at a farm in Langley.

Because of Darius’s hip issues, (he sees a chiropractor every six weeks) Jacobsen has only ridden him once to date. “I’m very patient with him. I know his history. I know he’s had a really rough deal. I’m learning too and I’m more than willing to take the time it takes,” she says.

Caring for a horse is clearly a big commitment and the BC SPCA extensively vets potential adopters to ensure they have the resources and skillset required. Jacobsen says having a good support system is key as doing it on ones own could get overwhelming.

As for the future, she has big plans for the two of them; Jacobsen is involved in a medieval re-enactment group and says “patient and chill” Darius is the perfect partner.

“I’m learning to do mounted archery, so riding on horseback and shooting a bow as you’re riding and not holding the reins. There are all kinds of games I’d like to be able to do with him,” says Jacobsen.

Sounds like a bit of a fairytale ending.

If you’re #oneinamillion who have adopted an animal from the BC SPCA over the past 60 years, you’re invited to post a photo to their Facebook page.

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