bullseye denny 2

About Bullseye Denny Feucht

Passed on March 9, 2024

In Memory of Bullseye Denny: April 26th, 2001 – March 9th, 2024


There are no words to express how heartbroken we are after making the tough decision to say goodbye to our Morgan horse, Denny.


Colic is never a word you want to hear as a horse owner, but this wasn’t Denny’s first time traveling down that road, and he had always come through fine each time before. This time was not the same though. Denny was not responding well to medical management of his excruciating belly pain, and his intestines were not palpating in the right location. Due to the need for more intensive care and diagnostics, he was immediately referred to the U of M Large Animal Hospital.


My daughter and I quickly met up with Denny (and our amazing barn family) at the large animal hospital upon his arrival. It soon became apparent that his condition was very critical. Despite the poor prognosis, all the while holding on to just a little bit of hope through the flowing tears, we opted to pursue surgery to investigate exactly what was going on.  I just needed to know if he had a fighting chance.


My daughter and I shared our endless tear-filled hugs, memories, and sentiments with Denny. We then parted ways as they took him into surgery.


In surgery, none of us were surprised when our team of specialists quickly discovered the problem–a strangulating lipoma (i.e. fatty tumor)—a common cause of colic in older horses.  Denny’s lipoma had tenaciously wrapped around a segment of his small intestine, which ultimately compromised the blood supply to several feet of intestine.  It was not a promising discovery.


Due to the risks of surgical repair, and the likelihood of failure or reoccurrence, coupled with Denny’s age and having chronic Cushing’s disease, we knew the humane thing to do at this point was to put him down while he was already under anesthesia.


As I stared into his quiet, sleeping eyes and stroked his soft cheeks, I whispered my final goodbyes to him.  I knew I was making the right decision, but nothing can ever prepare you for these moments of loss.


Denny was a big part of our family for almost 18 of his 23 years. He gave so much to me during our time together.  He was my first horse out of vet school that afforded me the opportunity to show hunt seat.  He is the one who tested me and taught me and was always there for me through so many phases of life.  He never minded when life got busy for me with work and kids and visits were less frequent.  When life allowed us to hang out, we always picked up right where we left off.  When my daughter came along for visits, he was so gentle and easy going with her.  They had an instant connection.  She quickly became his new best friend, and I accepted that with open arms.


Denny went on to bless my daughter with 15 years of companionship, lessons, and then showing, which was such a full circle (and amazing) moment for me to watch.  I never in my wildest dreams envisioned Denny being more than my horse when we first met, but I am forever grateful to him for taking my daughter under his wing and allowing her to love him too. You could never ask for a better horse.


Funny enough, Denny was also a very stubborn horse at times, and he was undeniably smart—always thinking a step ahead of us.  He kept us on our toes every day as a result, but not in a bad way.  In his show days, he wasn’t ever the fanciest horse out in the ring, but he worked hard, he did his best, and he helped his riders grow and learn.   Because of his personality and work ethic, he was loved by all who got to know him and work with him.


Things are going to be difficult without our little Den around.  It’s going to be difficult to walk into the barn now and not see his big, brown head pop up above the stall wall to greet me with a mouth full of hay.  It’s going to be difficult to not have his nose to bop anymore, or his cresty neck to hug tight.  It’s going to be difficult to not brush his luxurious mane, or never remove a ‘cat-size’ fur-ball from his shedding body each Spring.  It’s going to be difficult to not have a horse of my own to ride or to just take a walk with when I need to be alone, but not really alone.   It’s going to be difficult…for a really long time.


Bullseye Denny, you are going to be missed beyond words.  Thank you for always being there for us and fighting the fight so bravely until the very end.  For all that you gave to us, here is my lasting wish for you as you cross that rainbow bridge:


“I hope that you get to forever run free in endless fields of dark green grass, with no halter on, no flies to bug you, lots of mud puddles and sand to roll in (if you so choose), no wash stalls to scare you, dandelions and hay fields galore to your left, endless Starlight peppermints and carrots to your right, and your gorgeous mane blowing in the wind, as it should.  You deserve the most beautiful heaven.”