UPDATED/ March 21, 2021
Fans of Harley would stop every day to feed him snacks, such as apples and carrots. We asked Lawton Stables if Harley had been sick since January with colic why wasn't he placed in isolation until he was well. And, because of being sick why didn't they stop the public from giving him his daily treats. Too many apples for example, according to equinespot.com can cause serious stomach problems in a horse.
A spokesperson for Lawton Stables said "Harley did have a mild episode of colic back in January that completely resolved with supportive fluid therapy and medication. Colic is a very acute illness and the recent episode that took his life wasn’t directly related to the first. A horse cannot suffer from colic for months straight- they would die a horrible death in a day or two if left untreated. As stated in our post, according to our veterinarian Harley likely had a strangulating lipoma which is a fatty tumor that can wrap around a horse's intestines and cause blockage and displacement of organs. Unfortunately, this was beyond our control and not caused by apples."
Last week Lawton Stables said in a prepared statement, "We lost our beloved Harley to bad colic last night. It happened very quickly and he received the highest standard of veterinary care, but ultimately he was humanely euthanized to end his suffering. Colic is a broad term generally used to describe abdominal pain or problems in the gastrointestinal tract. We don’t always know what causes horses to colic, but with Harley’s recent episode in January our vet suspects it could have been a strangulating lipoma."
The full statement is below.
William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
SEA PINES RESORT, HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC(Gloucestercitynews.net)(March 16, 2021)--Clydesdale Harley, a longtime resident of Lawton Stables, Sea Pines Resort, South Carolina died late last night of colic. He would have been 18 years old next month, according to a Lawton Stables employee.
Colic in horses is defined as abdominal pain, but it is a clinical symptom rather than a diagnosis. The term colic can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain as well as other causes of abdominal pain not involving the gastrointestinal tract. The most common forms of colic are gastrointestinal in nature and are most often related to colonic disturbance. There are a variety of different causes of colic, some of which can prove fatal without surgical intervention. Colic surgery is usually an expensive procedure as it is major abdominal surgery, often with intensive aftercare. Among domesticated horses, colic is the leading cause of premature death. The incidence of colic in the general horse population has been estimated between 4 and 10 percent over the course of the average lifespan. Clinical signs of colic generally require treatment by a veterinarian. The conditions that cause colic can become life-threatening in a short period of time. source Wikipedia
Harley's fans came from all over the world just to have their picture taken with him, or to give him a carrot or two and maybe some apples.
In 2016 Celebrate Hilton Head magazine wrote, "No resident of Lawton Stables has captured more hearts or received more fan mail than Harley the Clydesdale, found strolling the pasture daily; interacting with both four-legged and two-legged friends."
Harley was kept with the ponies and other animals and stood in the right paddock every day greeting his fans. Around 3 PM he was taken back to his stall. The story is that the regular horses are mean to Harley - they kick him and bite him - so the stable employees had to put Harley in with the ponies.
Lawton Stables released the following statement regarding his sudden death.
Dear Friends of Lawton Stables,
There is no easy way to say this, but we lost our beloved Harley to a bad colic last night. It happened very quickly and he received the highest standard of veterinary care, but ultimately he was humanely euthanized to end his suffering. Colic is a broad term generally used to describe abdominal pain or problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
We don’t always know what causes horses to colic, but with Harley’s recent episode in January our vet suspects it could have been a strangulating lipoma. This is when a fatty tumor wraps itself around the intestines and leads to blockage. Harley’s case was not surgical and despite our best efforts with fluids and supportive care, he did not recover.
Today we mourn the loss of a true Lawton Stables legend, there is a Harley sized hoof print on our hearts. We know that he has many friends near and far and was the highlight of many trips to Hilton Head. We would like to thank all of you for helping us give him such an amazing life. Every carrot, neck scratch and kiss on the muzzle helped him feel like the celebrity he came to be. Harley was not just Lawton’s horse, he belonged to everyone who grew to love him over years of visiting. He touched the lives of many and he will never be forgotten.
Please share your Harley photos and memories to celebrate his life and remember the wonderful times we shared with him.
“Somewhere… somewhere in time’s own space, there must be some sweet pastured space where creeks sing on, and tall trees grow, Some paradise where horses go. For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again.” — Stanley Harrison
For those who would like to send condolences to the Lawton Stables family, the address is
Sea Pines Resort
190 Greenwood Drive,
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 22926