It was another typical job for Susan Stark, a Thoroughbred owner from Florida who was in Stroud, OK working with a crew on a cross country pipeline project, or so she thought. Little did she know when she started this project that she would soon be the guardian angel that a nearby horse had been waiting for.
On her way to work each day, Stark passed a field with a single horse in it. The horse, who would later become known as “Pipeline Harvey” was emaciated, with no grass to speak of, no visible hay or water source. After approaching a neighboring house and learning the owner of the horse did not live on the property with the animal, her first instinct was to contact the local sheriff’s department. She was given the go ahead to provide feed for the animal while they investigated.
Stark went to secure supplies as soon as possible, however, it was a Sunday and the feed store was closed. That meant she was able to purchase feed from another location, but not hay. Now, normally this may be considered a problem, but this could not have worked out better for Harvey. Stark went in search of hay the only way she could, she pulled into the driveway of a horse farm that was only 5 miles away. When she knocked on that door, she changed Harvey’s life forever. On the other side were Tom and Leslie Hubbell, longtime volunteers of The Exceller Fund. The Hubbells immediately jumped in their truck and went with Stark to take hay and assess the situation.
Upon further investigation, they realized his only water source was a small pond on the backside of the property that was quickly evaporating; most of the waterbed was already dry. The Hubbells had the means to transport 55 gallons of water and they went back to their farm for it, along with a tub; however, before heading back, Leslie Hubbell called the sheriff’s department again to demand something be done.
This time, two young deputies came to the scene immediately, impounded the horse and placed him in the Hubbell’s care. He was loaded into the Hubbell’s trailer and transported to the farm. Harvey has a body condition score of about a one and due to the malnourishment is suffering from severe protein deficiency which causes edema and thus a very swollen penis. Upon evaluation by a veterinarian, consensus was that Harvey should be given a chance and the Hubbells are proceeding with treatment. The sheriffs have said they will be charging the owners with neglect if they can find them.
Harvey is not a Thoroughbred and therefore does not qualify for funding from The Exceller Fund. However, our volunteers are stepping up and providing for him regardless. Stark has also taken up a collection from members of the pipeline crew to help pay for his medical expenses.
No doubt Pipeline Harvey is in his Golden Years, probably in his twenties according to the vet. He will at least be comfortable, have a full tummy, and a soft place to rest for his remaining days.
**All photos taken at Tarjeta Ranch, owned by Tom and Leslie Hubbell