Wedding season is currently in full-swing, and it got us thinking about where things all begun — when your other half (possibly) got down on one knee and popped the question. But what about those who also cleverly incorporate horses into the engagement? Here are eight couples who said ‘yes’ in the presence of their horses…

1. Laura and Ben

Laura says: “My partner, Ben, proposed while I was on a hack this May so my horse Jack (an ex-racehorse who retired in June 2017 — racing name Our Boy Jack) could be a part of it as he is such a big part of our lives.”

2. Finola and James

Finola says: “My boyfriend (fiancé!) proposed at Badminton Horse Trials this year on cross-country day. It was a complete shock but absolutely perfect. It was quite a hot day and while we were making our way around the course, James kept asking me if we could sit in the shade so he could reapply sunscreen (he has pale Irish skin!). I kept saying no as he was trying to take me away from the jumping, but eventually gave in. We sat down on our blanket under a tree away from the crowds and I sipped on my Pimms as James applied more sunscreen. It was lovely and peaceful so he took the opportunity to pop the question. I didn’t believe him as I was sure he didn’t have a ring or that he’d plan it without letting it slip! He had the ring in a little velvet case instead of a box so that I wouldn’t notice it. I was in serious shock, but I managed to say yes among all the tears. It was perfect. We had such a brilliant weekend and we kept our engagement quiet until we arrived back in Ireland on the Monday evening. I couldn’t have planned it better myself!”

3. Becky Travers

Becky says: “My husband surprised me on my birthday in June 2016 when he hid in the back of my horsebox waiting for me to return from a ride. With my mum in on the surprise she asked me to check the back door of the lorry and there he was, down on one knee. I was very shocked as this was the last place I would expect him to be as he is not a massive fan of horses!”

4. Aisling and James

Aisling says: “In October 2011 I went along to the Cavan Equestrian amateur championships with friends, Kieran and Angela, to “help” for the weekend as I was horse-less. I happened to meet a fella from Galway, James Tonery, who was just getting back into the showjumping scene after a couple of years out. We all partied well into the night, and after a game of rugby, the heel broke on my shoe, and James broke his nose. The next morning I woke really early with a bit of a headache and a few lumps and bumps from the night before and felt really guilty about poor James’ nose, so I went up to the stables, located his horse and plaited him up! Fast forward six years, I’ve moved from Clare to Galway and we’ve been together since, but only difference now is he is horse-less and I have a lovely mare Darcy! It was October 2017 and once again we headed to the Cavan amateur weekend. We got there Friday evening and settled the horse, had a pizza and a few beverages with the rest of the crew, friends and my parents with my brother and his horse all there. On Saturday I had two classes to jump, and as always James was on hand to get me ready, but he was hard to keep hold of — every time I was finished jumping he was gone! Little did I know he was trying to find my dad on his own, but he had no luck pinning dad down. On the Saturday night the presentation of awards take place.. again James was missing, but my brother and I both collected prizes. When all had died down James asked me outside to the spot where we had fallen literally head over heels six years previously and asked me to marry him — I couldn’t believe it! Of course I said yes when I could eventually get some words out. Back in the bar and everyone was told, then the real excitement began and the champagne was flowing. The next day I wasn’t going to jump my horse but James just told me to ‘go in and win’. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or champagne or what got me around, but win we did! My best friend Serena even had the judge tipped off and he made a very special announcement over the PA system. It was a weekend I will never forget.”

5. Stacy and Dafydd

Stacy says: “My now husband Dafydd proposed by making bunting and hanging it in front of my Shire horse Catwg Black Velvet’s stable.”

6. Asher and Owain

Owain says: “I proposed to my other half at our Boxing Day meet. I was a master huntsman at the Ross harriers at the time and my other half was on foot as she was carrying our first baby.”

7. Amy Slater

Amy says: “My other half proposed to me in February on horseback on a ranch in Texas. I had no idea — the trip was originally booked as I bought surprise tickets for us to watch Monster Energy motocross (his hobby) and the ranch was a bolt on extra. I had no idea he was planning this on horseback (my hobby). Here’s a photo when he just asked. He then got off the horse and got down on one knee. Our wedding is going to be Texan-themed.”

Article continues below…


You might also be interested in:


8. Leah and Ben

Leah says: “My engagement was not directly horsey, but it involved my late ex-racehorse, Capriccio. It was the day before my birthday, Ben and I had a rare day off on a lovely sunny day together so off we went fishing near the coast. It was great, I caught a few, he caught a few. We were in good spirits. Later in the evening Ben took me up a big hill on Weybourne coast — it’s my favourite place to go to sit, feel tiny and generally let all my problems vanish. Apparently that is where I went the day that I confirmed with my vet to have my horse of a lifetime put to sleep. I was obviously distraught. Anyway, off we went up the hill, which is a tiring walk in the summer sun after a long day. We got to the top and he passed me a horseshoe that he had made for my birthday. It was painted white and wrapped in tartan ribbon (my horse was grey and I absolutely love Scotland!). So there I am, sat on the floor, cross legged, sobbing my eyes out thinking of my wonderful horse who had to leave me a few months before, then he gets down on one knee. He said he wanted to turn a bad memory into a slightly better one. My fiancé isn’t romantic, doesn’t drown me with compliments on a daily basis and is a man of few words, but when he makes an effort, my God does he deliver.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.