This is the touching moment an elderly woman was reunited with a horse she rescued over ten years ago.
Joyce Austin, 84, was finally able to stroke and feed her long lost friend carrots again.
The retiree from Runcorn, Cheshire, first made a unique bond with the horse she named ‘Star’ after noticing him in a field nearby her then home.
Having never seen the horse before, and not seeing an owner, Joyce began bringing sacks of carrots for the horse.
After several weeks of feeding the chestnut stallion, she realised that the owner was not coming back for Star.
Joyce then contacted a friend to help her find a suitable home for the horse.
Star was moved from the field to Spirit of the Herd, a not-for-profit horse and pony sanctuary near Helsby.
Joyce believed she would never see the beloved horse again.
After moving to Simonsfield Care Home, located on Boston Avenue, in January this year, Joyce recalled many stories to the staff and residents of happy memories she shared with Star.
The sanctuary caring for Star discovered that Joyce had moved to the care home and got in touch to see if she would like to meet with Star again.
After more than a decade apart, she was reunited with Star, who was happy to be fed carrots just like old times.
Joyce said: “Thank you so much. I have really enjoyed my day. It was lovely to see how happy Star is with all his friends.”
Describing the remarkable reunion as ‘healing’, Saphron Woods from the sanctuary said: “We are so pleased we were able to reunite Joyce and Star. Star has been in our care for a few years in rehabilitation and is doing well.
“Seeing the two together was very special and we feel it helped heal both human and equine. We welcome Joyce to come and visit as often as she is able.”
Care home manager at Simonsfield, Debbie Smith, praised the sanctuary for their major efforts to reunite the pair.
She said: “I cannot thank the sanctuary enough. They are a non-for-profit organisation and look after these horses purely on donations.
“Seeing them reunited was amazing and Joyce was beaming all the way back to the care home and for several days since.
“Hopefully we will be able to go back and see Star again in future, now we know where he lives.”