Miniature horse at Victoria children’s farm has died

The horse had been suffering from breathing problems and other health issues and was being treated by a veterinarian on Tuesday when a decision was made to let the little white and brown-spotted horse go.

Peanut Butter, a spunky miniature horse who delighted all ages at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm for a quarter century, is being mourned by volunteers and generations of visitors.

The horse had been suffering from breathing problems and other health issues and was being treated by a veterinarian on Tuesday when a decision was made to let the little white and brown-spotted horse go.

Peanut Butter, the longest-running resident of the farm, was just shy of her 31st birthday. She had lived there for 24 years.

“It’s been tough on everybody,”said farm volunteer Chloe White. “We’ve all been trying to manage our emotions today. Peanut Butter was a public figure — everybody loved her — but the staff knew her personally, so it’s very sad. A lot of the young volunteers are pretty torn up about it.”

Messages of condolences are pouring into the farm’s Facebook page.

“I will cherish my memories with little Peanut Butter,” said Chelsey Fonger. “She lived a life of luxury any animal would be lucky to have.”

Kelly Parkin said her daughter claimed Peanut Butter as her own because they were almost the same age. “She looked for PB every visit to the farm. She sent me a message today, on her birthday, to let me know the sad news … such a loss.”

Lisa Bown said: “I can hardly imagine the petting zoo without her.”

White said there were “generations that cherished her … lots of mothers and daughters and family members. She was loved a lot. She was a favorite among the farm’s volunteers, some who started as kids.”

Peanut Butter lived to an average age for a miniature horse, which have lifespans of between 25 and 35 years — longer than their full-size counterparts.

There are no immediate plans for any permanent memorial at this point, White said, but she hopes that something will be planned to memorialize her presence and impact at the children’s farm.

Peanut Butter joins another beloved horse on the other side. There is a memorial spot at the children’s zoo for Queenie, a beloved Clydesdale who was a working horse in Beacon Hill Park and died in 1970 at age 20.

The children’s farm is open from 10 am to 4 pm There were 10 baby goats as of Wednesday and four does about to give birth. You can also see the farm’s two donkeys, two alpacas, sheep with three lambs, flocks a ducks and exotic chickens and the potbellied pig, Maple.

dkloster@timescolonist.com

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