Young girl, blind horse win championships, Lisa Reed, May 11. 2013

Tori Czech of Chippewa Falls, Wis., rides Skip

Tori Czech of Chippewa Falls, Wis., rides Skip

IRON MOUNTAIN – Victoria Czech had owned Skips Golden Silk, a double-registered palomino quarter horse, for two years when she found out he would eventually go blind in both eyes.

The Chippewa Falls, Wis., girl was 10 when Skip was diagnosed with glaucoma. Skip was 24.

“My first reaction was, I was really sad, because I didn’t know if I could use him again,” said Victoria, who goes by Tori. “I talked to my mom about it and she said he would be fine, and he was Skip, and he would have a special need.”

Mary Czech, mother of Tori, said learning of their gelding’s glaucoma in September 2010 was a shock and a heartbreak.

“We kept Skip because he had so much life left to give. You don’t put an animal down because he can’t see. He was in fantastic shape,” Mary Czech said.

After doing research with Nancie Carlson of Iron Mountain, Skip’s original owner, and finding out “the quality of life a blind horse can have if given the proper care,” Czech’s local veterinarian decided to perform surgery.

Carlson, a horse enthusiast, had bought 4-year-old Skip in 1990 at an auction in Cannon Falls, Minn.

He was trained by the late Heather Janssen of Vulcan. Janssen died in a traffic accident in July 2012.

“Heather and I showed him, and he won multiple grand championships,” Carlson said. “Due to events in my life, I ended up selling him to a family in Wisconsin. For several years, their daughter showed Skip successfully with many state awards. Their daughter graduated and sold Skip in 2008 to the Czech family of Chippewa Falls, Wis.”

Eye surgery, recovery

In 2011, one of Skip’s eyes was surgically removed.

….CONTINUED at the Daily News

  • Arlene

    Wonders will never end, when Love and understanding are present,between Horse and owner !!!! IT will amaze and defy all OBSTACLES !!!!

    May 12, 2013
  • Robynne Catheron

    Wonderful, positive story, so uplifting! It reminds me of another young team with a blind horse, Becca and Stormy. They’ve made several videos, including their audition for Craig Cameron’s Extreme Cowboy Race, which caused him to choke up while narrating their performance. I love stories like these, especially on Mother’s Day!

    May 12, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    Companions together, LOVE forever, what a great story>>> Thanks

    May 12, 2013
  • sherriey

    i have a blind App mare that went totally blind last year. b/c i don’t ride her…she has bad arthritis also…i have her pastured with her best horse friend, a QH, up by the barn. i don’t put her out in the large pastures with the others b/c of coyotes…don’t want her going thru any fences. her best horse friend has a bell on her neck and she follows the sound. i have watched them and their interaction with each other. when the blind mare can’t find her horse seeing-eye companion, she will stand real still and let out a shrill whinnie for her….then the seeing-eye friend comes running to her side and will lead her to where she was. i have also seen the seeing-eye horse head for the barn when its grain time, stop and whinnie to the blind mare to follow her. she will wait for her to catch up to her before continuing to the barn. like she knows and takes care of her. watching them can bring you to tears….its very touching, their friendship is very strong.

    but there are some people that say that horses have no feelings or souls….i beg to differ with them.

    May 12, 2013
    • Arlene

      Dear Sherriey, Thank You for your touching heartwarming story, God Bless you and your Horses!!!

      May 13, 2013