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Beloved horse, Montana, dies in favorite pasture at age 44

by: John Klicker, Montana

Montana, an old mustang who earned a front-page picture in The Outlook's Eastside Living section Aug. 23, died Tuesday at 11:05 p.m. in his favorite pasture near Sandy at the age of 44.

His owner and oldest girlfriend, Sherri Hart, was vacationing in Mexico when Montana, who lived to a remarkable age, lay down in the pasture and, despite efforts of friends and a vet, refused to get up.

Troutdale resident Sharon Flaherty, a longtime friend of Hart and Montana, was caring for the horse. When his death became inevitable, she got her sleeping bag and a light and spent a long evening with him in the pasture, holding his head in her lap.

'I told him it was not every horse who got a front-page picture in the newspaper,' she said.

The next day she picked up Hart at the airport and the two had a good cry.

Montana was a Mustang who once roamed wild in Utah. Hart bought him when he was 10 years old and she was 18, worried about purchasing such an 'old' horse. Hart, 50, who works at Celebrate Me Home in Troutdale, never dreamed that Montana would live so long, but was grateful for every day.

'She really loved that horse. There was always lipstick all over his face,' Flaherty said.