It is with great sadness that we bring you the news of the passing of…
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of former Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled pony, Gemma, at the grand age of 32.
Gemma arrived at The Horse Trust in 2012 and quickly became an incredibly popular resident and member of The Horse Trust family. Prior to her years at The Horse Trust, Gemma spent 15 fantastic years as a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) pony and was at Gaddesden Place RDA before retiring to us nearly a decade ago. At Gaddesden Place, Gemma lovingly helped many children with disabilities learn to ride and provided countless hours of fun and enjoyment to the children. She also competed in RDA dressage events and pony club shows with disabled riders including partnering a fully blind rider who rode independently, together achieving brilliant and inspiring results. Gemma is remembered by Gaddesden Place as being an incredibly faithful and reliable pony.
After the success of her RDA days, Gemma spent nine wonderful years with us at The Horse Trust. Here we got to know and love the incredibly kind and gentle pony that she was. Gemma was so friendly and great with children that she regularly came into our grooming area on visitor days where our younger supporters were able to pet and groom her, and where they too fell in love with the beautiful mare, just as we did the moment we first met her.
Gemma was always easy to spot as she stood out due to her stunning appearance as a Cremello with a lovely cream coat. She became close friends with our military mare Zepce who helped us look after Gemma in her final year with us. Last year Gemma sadly lost her eyesight due to aging changes in her retina but her loving friendship and close bond with friend Zepce allowed her to continue to enjoy her time a little longer with us. Zepce aided Gemma by acting as a guide horse for her through the Spring and Summer months.
It broke our hearts when after some time, Gemma began to become more and more disorientated. Although Zepce was by her side and of comfort to her, Gemma was clearly becoming more distressed. It was at this point that we knew we had to say our heart-breaking goodbyes to this precious little pony who we had come to love and care for so dearly. We know that this news will also be incredibly upsetting to our many visitors who met and interacted with Gemma over the nine years she was with us.
Gemma, we are so incredibly sad to have had to say goodbye. You were the kindest, most gentle and loving pony we could have wished to care for over the last nine years. You had a truly inspiring life full of so many people, young and old, who loved you so very much. You were a complete sweetheart and we are absolutely heartbroken to say goodbye. RIP gentle Gemma, you really were one very special pony.