Sydney the pure-bred Spanish horse from Diss, Norfolk, has been given a lifetime’s supply of tea thanks to his unusual passion.

Last year, the 10-year-old gelding surprised his owner Nikkie Wheetman by developing a passion for tea.

“I’ve known horses drink tea before,” said Nikkie, “but never with Sydney’s burning desire. Every time a tray of tea is nearby, the look on his face is hilarious. If we’re having it, he wants it too.”

It started when the farrier visited, explained Nikkie. When his back was turned, Sydney drank his entire mug of tea. Now he’s on a cuppa a day and has become a celebrity at local shows.

“The crowds marvel as café owners bring over a cup of tea for Sydney when he’s in the line-up,” said Nikkie.

Tetley Tea’s marketing department has pledged to supply Sydney with tea for the rest of his life.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (4 November, ’10)