HUNDREDS of people responded with sadness when a much-loved West Sussex pony had to be put down in October after being stolen by heartless thieves.
But now a lovely palomino pony is helping to heal the broken heart of Annabelle Harvey-Mason ( 10) who had been so devastated by the loss of her award-winning pony Oke. The tragic story of Oke, who had sustained a broken leg during the theft had tugged at heartstrings all over the country.
This Christmas, tragedy has turned into a new beginning for Annabelle of Aldingbourne, who had been inconsolable by the loss her her pony. The duo had been about to be presented with a Star of the Future award by Arundel Riding Club because of their outstanding partnership in competitions.
Six weeks ago, Annabelle was given Griashall Gethin, a beautiful three-year-old palomino Welsh Section B, chosen for her in Wales by her mother Kerry’s good friend Lizzie Deacon.
Soon after he arrived, Annabelle took him to the South East Welsh Pony and Cob Association Show at Merrist Wood and they were second in both classes they entered- Best Three Year Old and Best Small Mountain and Moorland.
Her mother said: ” Since Annabelle has been backing him, the pair continue growing going from strength to strength, and each day amaze me more. It is as if Gethin knows he has an important job to do- to try and heal a broken heart. Their bond is growing with each new day it is lovely to see that special spark coming back into Annabelle.”
On Sunday December 15, Annabelle and Gethin entered the Manhood Riding Club Charity Show at Thorney Island, competing against riders which included adults and other children. Annabelle was the highest placed child in each of her classes.
The duo were placed third in the Best Solid Colour, third in the Best Novice Pony 12.2-14.2hh and third in the Best Novice Pony Classes. All were good strong classes of 17 entrants.
“We are very pleased with the results so far and it was lovely to see Annabelle and her eight-year-old sister Phoebe both out with their ponies again. The sisters are looking forward to riding together again over the winter months and enjoying our beach rides and wood rides as a family. With Gethin already showing such promise I think the pair will have a lot of fun for the 2014 showing season,” added Kerry.