It is with a heavy heart that we must report that Blindaj Billy, the last remaining horse to play Black Beauty, has passed away. The legendary horse left us on Monday, April 6th, according to a Facebook post from Billy's owner Louise Maryon.
Many of us who have always had a soft spot for horses are familiar with the story of Black Beauty. It all began with a best-selling novel written by English author Anna Sewell. The novel debuted in 1877, and it has since become a best seller and a classic. In fact, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books in history.
In 1994, a film adaptation stole the hearts of countless horse lovers. While the film was released over two and a half decades ago, Billy, one of the horses that played Black Beauty, remained with us all the way to 2020.
Here is the post from Louise Maryon, Billy's owner, which she posted on April 6th, 2020.
When you look through Billy's photos on his Facebook page, you can tell he lived a fulfilling and happy life. Although he developed arthritis at the age of 20, Maryon said that Billy still loved to be around people and was primarily happy and full of energy. He has had a long and relaxing retirement. In the last photo posted on the page before Billy passed, you can tell he was content, happy, and just as majestic as ever.
Regular readers of iHeartHorses might remember our popular article from 2019, Last Surviving Black Beauty Is 30 And Still Going Strong. The article discusses Billy's fascinating backstory, from when he was born in 1989 to when he turned 30 years old in 2019. To celebrate his birthday, Maryon decorated Billy's stable and invited his friends and fans to honor his long and impressive life. Over the course of the weekend, 200 people showed up to honor Billy. Many of them even brought him cards and gifts.
Since Billy's passing, another post on his Facebook Page has been published regarding the horse's four-legged friend Ritchie. "Ritchie has been Billy's companion since he was a weanling 6 years ago," the post states. "That was his only job at the farm, to keep Billy company."
According to the post, Ritchie still waits for Billy after turn out and calls out for him from time to time. But luckily, he has another companion, a beautiful pony named Rocket.
Do you have any fond memories of Black Beauty you'd like to share? Post them in the comments below!
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Featured image via Facebook/Blindaj Billy and Facebook/Louise Maryon