'It feels amazing that Endo has three world records,' said Morgan Wagner, his owner.
In addition to their stunning looks, Appaloosa horses are renowned for being docile, amiable and steadfast companions. One such extraordinary horse in Oregon has touched the hearts of many across the world. Endo, a 22-year-old Appaloosa horse that is blind, became the proud owner of three world records on October 29, 2022. Commonly known as "Endo the Blind," he bagged three remarkable record titles: the fastest time for a blind horse to weave five poles (6.93 seconds), the most flying changes (39 changes) performed by a horse in one minute and the highest free jump by a blind horse (3 feet, 5.73 inches), CBS News reports.
Endo's owner, Morgan Wagner—who first met the horse when she was just 13 years old—noted that it took time and a lot of work to get to this point. "My grandma said I could have one of her horses, and I chose Endo. He had the most charisma and pranced around the other horses."
When Endo was 8 years old, Wagner revealed, he was diagnosed with glaucoma, cataracts, and equine recurrent uveitis, a condition that is prevalent in horses. After five years, he was completely blind. Endo was eased into it by wearing a blindfold before he lost his sight, said Wagner, but it took some getting used to.
It all began when Wagner noticed Endo's eyes frequently watering up and squinting. A physician diagnosed him with equine recurrent uveitis—often known as moon blindness or periodic ophthalmia—and although Wagner did everything she could to try and alleviate her equine friend's pain, nothing seemed to work. "He continued to have flare-ups and it got worse and worse as time went on," she said. "With each flare-up, it also damaged his eyes."
Endo's discomfort persisted, and his right eye eventually burst, forcing Wagner to take the heartbreaking decision of having it removed. A few months later, his left eye also started causing him issues, and had to be removed. Endo then had to learn how to get around in a world he couldn't see. "He was very scared in the beginning, so I took him for walks around the barn and then moved on to walks around the property," Wagner told Guinness World Records.
According to Wagner, he eventually found the confidence to resume his previous hobbies, including competing and jumping. "He learned to jump again after going blind because he competed in a discipline that required upper-level riding and obstacle work, and in that discipline, he became national champion at the highest level," she said. There was no difficulty that their great bond couldn't overcome, from their very first dressage and riding experiences together to navigating the challenges of vision loss.
Endo soon began appealing to the hearts of people across the world with his lovable nature and amazing talents. Aside from his record-breaking accomplishments, Morgan also wants the world to know how proud she is of her equine friend for never losing his spirit despite losing his eyes. "I'm very grateful to Guinness World Records for letting us have a platform for blind horses to show the world that they're still capable of anything," she said. "It feels amazing that Endo has three world records."