NuNu, the American Paint horse ridden more than seven miles down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago last week, is expected to recover from the injuries she sustained, though she should never be ridden again.
NuNu was seen in a viral video posted by Adam Hollingsworth, known as The Dread Head Cowboy, early last week as part of a protest against the number of children getting shot in Chicago. Hollingsworth’s intended purpose quickly shifted when it was reported that NuNu was forced to run on the paved highway without shoes and was whipped to continue when she collapsed.
By the time Hollingsworth stopped, NuNu hooves were bleeding, her teeth were damaged, and she had saddle sores. Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times exclusively reported on Friday that NuNu “is on the mend and on her way to recovery since being moved to ahorse farm in the south suburbs.”
Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) told Sneed that NuNu has “rallied,” adding he was told she “should never be ridden again.”
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Although initially listed in critical condition and facing euthanasia following the 8-mile, shoeless ride that snarled traffic Monday, the injured horse is expected to be able to walk again in a quiet, stable environment, added Lopez.
Severely dehydrated and twice collapsing after it got to Chicago Animal Care and Control, “the horse was transferred to the Tinley Park Farm to be cared for immediately by a vet specializing in equine care,” he said.
“It’s now responding to IV fluids, and its condition has drastically improved since being transferred to the farm,” Lopez said.
Hollingsworth was charged with felony animal cruelty after his ride. Hollingsworth said he was an animal-loving person and didn’t mean to hurt the horse, but he also said he would make the ride again.
“Yes, I’d do it again,” Hollingworth said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve been to jail. I’ve got a background. I’m not perfect. I would rather go to jail for something like (this). That is something worth going to jail for.” Hollingsworth added: “And I didn’t mean no harm on my horse, at all. I’m a horse- (and) animal-loving person. My focus is Kids Lives Matter. And If a person can’t agree with that, I don’t know what to call you.”
Hollingsworth called on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to help him as well as the famous rappers who live in Chicago. Hollingsworth was previously called on by Lightfoot to act as a “census cowboy” and promote census compliance.
“A fan of Batman, Lightfoot said she was sounding a ‘distress signal’ like the one used to summon the caped crusader by Gotham Police officials to call on the social media star, the Dreadhead Cowboy,” WTTW Chicago reported at the time.
After his arrest for animal cruelty, Hollingsworth begged Lightfoot to step in.
“When she called upon me, I was there for her,” Hollingworth said, according to the Tribune. “What I did Monday was my stress signal. Lori come help me. I can’t do it alone.”
The Sun-Times also reported that before his highway stunt and his appointment by Lightfoot, Hollingsworth was already on authorities’ radar for riding a horse near the expressway.
“This is not the first time,” Ald. Lopez said. “We had videos and pictures of him multiple times before the mayor hired him to be her census outreach person/cowboy.
“We were trying to find out where he lived before the mayor hired him,” Lopez added. “We were actually on the hunt for him due to concern about how his horse was being kept.”
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