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An emotional reunion touches a very special place in our hearts

As a home of rest which specialises in providing respite and retirement to working horses, we understand that every horse that arrives to us has their own following of people that love and care about them. This may be fans, or in this case previous riders.

Annabelle was issued to Metropolitan Police Mounted Officer Alison Osbourne in 1998 after being posted to Great Scotland Yard from Imber Court. After many successful years, taking her to her first football matches and experiencing dangerous crowds for the first time, Alison’s time with Annabelle unfortunately came to an end in 2003 when she was diagnosed with MS. Sadly Alison struggled to get on and off the horses and work became too tiring, therefore she was medically retired from the force. Alison contacted the team here at The Horse Trust when she knew Annabelle had retired here. We were more than happy to show her round for a visit and of course for her to enjoy cuddles (and tears) whilst being reunited with her partner in crime. Working with animals as a part of your job makes them apart of your family, and it was a very emotional moment when Alison walked onto the yard to see Annabelle being grazed in hand waiting for her special guest to arrive.

Alison describes her as “a people’s horse” and says she “instantly fell in love with her”. She described her relationship with Annabelle as a “great horse and rider bond” but she was teased by colleagues about this special partnership and for naming her after the famous ‘My Little Pony’!

Alison noted “She is a quirky character as during one Royal Celebration, she got loose from her rider and was seen running across the red tarmac of Buckingham Palace! Annabelle was a favourite with the box drivers as she was great to handle and always travelled well. This cheeky grey mare was continuously caught searching people’s pockets for treats!”

It doesn’t just stop there. Alison came along with her friend and former colleague Sue, who used to ride our gorgeous grubster Vernon. Vernon was more than happy to see Sue who had a whole bag of Melons for him, as we all know Vern loves the melon skins! Alison noted ‘It was so lovely seeing Annabelle so relaxed and enjoying her retirement which she so deserves. It’s obvious that The Horse Trust team love her to bits and I hope she has many more years being spoilt rotten!”

You can meet a selection of our residents when we are open to the public every Thursday – Sunday from 2-4pm. If you are too far away, meet our residents online and learn their stories by visiting our resident’s page.

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