Lifestyle

Closure in the form of a horse

HOME AGAIN: Ben the horse has been reunited with the Wall family after 19 days out bush.
HOME AGAIN: Ben the horse has been reunited with the Wall family after 19 days out bush. Rachel Vercoe

STANDING in the paddock, munching on a fresh biscuit of hay, it's obvious that Ben the chestnut horse is happy to be home after 19 days of experiencing the life of a brumby.

Apart from noticeable weight loss, one missing shoe and a few bald patches where the saddle has rubbed, Ben the horse is back home with the Wall family and doing well.

On Wednesday afternoon, Marty Wall received a long awaited phone call from friends Mick Franklin, Gwenda Ford and Gerda Vanderwaal with the exciting news that they'd found Ben and were taking him home.

The news came after numerous searchers were held by individuals and groups made up of family members, friends and complete strangers.

On the morning of Friday, July 28, Allan Wall threw his saddle onto his new horse of three weeks Ben, called out to his dog Rusty and set out for a ride on one of his usual tracks along Dirty Creek Range.

During the ride, Allan passed away from a heart attack.

Rusty, his trusty kelpie, stuck by his side and ended up leading Allans sons to him later that night.

Ben had only been in the family for three weeks and was missing since the incident.

"I feel sorry for him, for what he's been through. He's only so new and young to us, he's only just started to become part of the family. He just didn't know where he was going, if he did, he would have come back," Marty said.

Mick Franklin received a phone call from Marty Wall when Ben went missing and began searching the area by vehicle and on horse.

Organised group searches were held throughout the time he was missing but it wasn't until the last day Mick was able to get out bush and look with Gwenda Ford and Gerda Vanderwaal on Wednesday that they were able to locate and approach Ben.

On horseback, the three riders spotted tracks around the Wooli river and did a major search of the area.

"As soon as the horse saw us he was whinnying," Mick said.

"More of a happy horse, I've never seen.

After calmly approaching Ben and placing a rope around his neck, Mick said that was when they could relax, they knew they had him.

"We stopped to have lunch and he just went to sleep.

"A really happy horse and really happy people," he said.

The Wall family said they are thankful to everyone who helped in anyway they could in the effort to bring Ben home.

"It's just good to have closure and to be able to open the next chapter," Marty wall said.

"Everywhere you look here at home you see dads influence in everything so he'll never be forgotten."

Topics:  ben coffs coast editors picks missing horse



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