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The British Horse Society

The British Horse Society and a gentle giant make a wish come true for two little girls

BHS Scotland teamed up with Big Scottish John of Hawthorn Den Clydesdales at Wester Melville Farm outside Edinburgh recently (25 January) in response to an email sent from Alaska and, as a result, two unsuspecting and brave girls had the day out of a lifetime.

The BHS Scotland website receives many requests and enquiries each day and tries to respond to every one so when a plea for help from an Alaskan Auntie appeared in the 'Inbox' it received due attention.

Writing from Anchorage, Alaska, Saunders McNeill was keen to arrange a special experience for her nieces Zoe (9) and Ninian (6) who had lost their mother to illness a year ago. The girls had always nurtured a particular dream to own a heavy horse, but living in Edinburgh made this somewhat impractical. However as Zoe and Ninian obviously miss their Mum, and recently celebrated their birthdays, Saunders felt a heavy horse experience was something they deserved.

By happy chance the BHS in Scotland had made contact with the Hawthorne Den Clydesdales and their very special owner Christine Mann and groom Pamela Gray so, before long, a special treat was arranged. On a crisp sunny afternoon Zoe and Ninian, with their Dad Carn, spent the afternoon at Wester Melville being introduced to the thirteen Clydesdales, helping with feeding, stabling and handling and, best of all, enjoying a ride out on the 19 hands high Big Scottish John, a 19 year old chestnut gelding, the perfect gentleman who took singular care of his precious cargo.

Speaking after the event Scottish Development Officer Helene Mauchlen said: " This was quite simply the most satisfying experience to be involved with and the day would not have come about without the help and generosity of Christine and Pam. The girls had a ball and the horses were thrilling, therapeutic and so gentle. Seeing Zoe and Ninian being so brave and trusting towards these gentle giants was an honour, and the simple country lore and sound horsemanship passed on by Christine Mann and the Hawthorne Den team was awe inspiring.

"The whole experience has reinforced the notion that horses are healers and even though the BHS works tirelessly for the good of the horse, the good the horse imparts to human beings certainly outstrips our efforts!"



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