‘Tough old fella’: Australia’s oldest horse dies
CALYPSO, one of the world's oldest horses, has died, aged 50.
Handler Jenny Dyson-Holland said the well-known quarter horse, who "looked like a little old man", was eating well and seemingly healthy in his final days.
But early Saturday Ms Dyson-Holland found Calypso lying lifeless on his side in his paddock at Belle-Ayr Agistment and Training Centre, Tallebudgera.
"I thought he was having a little sleep in, like you do on a rainy morning," she said.
"But when I went over I saw he had passed away."
"He was amazing. He was his normal self right up until the end. He was a tough old fella."
It's thought Calypso's heart may have given out because of his advanced age.
Horses usually live to between 25-30 and vets told Ms Dyson-Holland the five decades Calypso thrived were equivalent to 150 human years.
The horse was purchased from a riding school by the Nakic family in the 1970s after it was found the animal was mistreated. Ms Dyson-Holland cared for Calypso for 15 years.
He was popular with families, and children in particular, but he never warmed to those who dropped by his paddock to visit, despite his strong bond with Ms Dyson-Holland.
"He had a very big Facebook following. Everyone knew him," she said.
"He loved being next to his buddies and just running around, being a horse," she said.
Ms Dyson-Holland said a photo taken of Calypso cantering gracefully through the fields was "etched in my memory".
No one has ever publicly challenged Calypso's claim to fame as the country's oldest horse.
An Arab-Welsh cross horse named Badger made the Guinness Book of World Records for world's oldest horse when he died in 2004, aged 51.