When a beloved therapy horse was rushed to a Calgary vet hospital with colic recently, the community stepped in to raise funds to pay for the extensive veterinary bills.

Regent is a stunning black 18-year-old Canadian Horse gelding (registered name Blain Louis II Regent), who has spent years helping veterans and first responders living with PTSD via free mental health programs with the Canadian charity Can Praxis, an organization that launched in 2022.

It happened during the province’s intense cold temperatures, a situation that can wreak havoc on some horses’ gut health. Upon examination it was determined that Regent had an impaction colic and the clinic staff put him on the standard treatment protocol including an IV and a gastric tube.

“It was a quite serious, life-threatening situation where we were at the point of looking at having to administer surgery,” Steve Critchley, the founder of Can Praxis and Regent’s owner, told the CBC.

As the bills mounted in the $8,000 range, despite not needing surgery, public support came from the very people who had worked with Regent to heal. Critchley told CTV News that donations came from across the country, ranging from $5 to $100. A GoFundMe page  was also created and has raised $7,153 towards the gelding’s care.


A young boy leading a horse in an arena.

A young therapy patient interacting with Regent. (Steve Critchley photo)


“The offer to help with the cost was put forward and very much appreciated, and we’re very humbled to see how people right across the country have stepped up with their concern and desire to help Regent,” Critchley is quoted in the CBC piece. “[He has the] ability to read body language, look at faces, understand by looking at a face if someone’s in stress or someone’s relaxed, and intuitively know how to work with that individual to help them feel calm and confident.”

Regent is now home and working on his conditioning so he can get back to being a therapy horse. “We are very humbled with how many folks across the country pitched in supporting Regent’s recovery,” Critchley tells Horse-Canada. “Regent is now stepping into the role of spokesperson for Can Praxis, as he has proven to be such an incredible representative of his breed and for Can Praxis.”

You can watch a video of Regent in action from the CTV news story here.