We love stories with a happy ending. Here’s an amazing one from south of the border.

A Minnesota family rescued a feral horse in 2015. They named him Chicken because he was afraid of everything and had never been touched by humans before. The family’s teenage daughter, Camella Whelan, took the time to work with Chicken and give him confidence.

Chicken and Camella with their horse show spoils. (Andrea Lakeberg Facebook photo)

Fast forward a few years and Camella, now 15, was competing with Chicken in 4-H club and other local competitions. The pair even won the championship in pole bending at the state 4H Horse Show in 2021.

So far so good, until earlier this year Chicken somehow became trapped beneath a fence and was badly injured. According to a story in the Isanti-Chisago County Star, Chicken’s leg was cut to the bone, and there were cuts to his tendons and face, including a fractured facial bone.

“I was terrified and so sad when Chicken got hurt,” Camella told the newspaper. “I hated seeing him in pain and I was so scared we were going to have to put him down.”

But the horse was part of the family and underwent surgery instead of being put down. “We put literally years of time into that horse and everyone told me I should just shoot him — get rid of him,” Camella’s mother, Andrea Lakeberg said in the interview. “We couldn’t. We love him.”

Today, the horse has recovered enough for Camella to ride him at the walk, and he was guest of honour at a fundraiser to pay for his extensive veterinary bills. While it’s too early to tell if Chicken will be able to train and compete again, one thing is certain: he has a home for life.

Watch Chicken and Camella in action here.