This month we’re shining a light on our Director of Fundraising & Communications, Jess. Jess…
It is with a heavy heart we bring you the sad news of the passing of retired carriage driving therapy pony, Champ.
A distinctive character in our herd, Champ will be dearly missed by all of us here at The Horse Trust. Champ came to us after 5 years of service for The Magic Trust, a wonderful organisation that allowed those with disabilities to interact with horses and ponies, including our Champ, who pulled a specially adapted carriage for those with more severe disabilities. Unfortunately, The Magic Trust closed in 2017 and Champ was their last remaining equine employee. At the age of 21, Champ began his much deserved retirement and we were honoured to accept him into our herd here at The Horse Trust where we could pamper him and let him live out the rest of his days with the best care.
Standing at 14.2hh, Champ was bridging the gap between horse and pony, but if his friends were anything to go by, Champ was a horse! For most of his retirement with us, Champ lived with our taller residents, rubbing shoulders (or not quite, as the case may be!) with ex-police and ex-military horses alike. Not deterred by their size, Champ never seemed fazed by his mammoth friends, choosing to snooze in and miss the breakfast time scuffle. He was firm friends with Perry and Bulowayo, two of the only horses in his herd whose withers were at the right height for a mutual grooming session. Always known among the grooms for his relaxed nature, he was more often found asleep than awake!
As is often the case with older age, Champ suffered with chronic arthritis which was being closely monitored by our vet, Nicky and all the grooms during daily checks. However, sadly, in the last few months the grooms noticed that our Champ was struggling to keep up with his friends in the field and would spend more time than usual stood alone. Unfortunately, this was the first sign that Champ’s arthritis had begun to deteriorate, which was making it increasingly difficult for him to get around. Due to the pain and the knock-on effect this was having on his quality of life, it was decided that the kindest thing for Champ was to say our final goodbye.
Champ was a gentle soul who allowed those with disabilities to make special memories with him during his service at The Magic Trust. The impact he made will never be forgotten by those whose lives he touched. We thank you Champ for your incredible service to the community and your kindness to those who you worked with. Your passing is a huge loss to us here at The Horse Trust and while your field will never be the same, we let you go knowing that you enjoyed your retirement here to the fullest and you may now run pain-free over the rainbow bridge.
The Horse Trust relies on public donations to continue to give a forever home to retired military, police, Royal Mews and RDA horses and to care for neglected rescued horses. If you would like to be part of our story, please consider a donation today.