Equine Mary and Joseph join canine Angel Gabriel in horsey Nativity

  • A group of horses, ponies and a canine Angel Gabriel have starred in an equestrian centre’s Nativity video in aid of good causes.

    Students at Croft End Equestrian Centre, Oldham, created the film as part of community engagement sessions, to get the public involved.

    They decided having horses as the stars would be the perfect way – although it was thought a better idea to film this rather than perform it live, and then invite residents of local care homes to watch.

    Student Caitlain Smith told H&H the premiere was last Friday (13 December), and that the audience appreciated the horses’ efforts.

    “We wanted to invite some older people to do taster days with horses and thought that as it was Christmas, a Nativity was what we wanted to do,” she said.

    “One of the other students helped us make the costumes, and the horses were quite co-operative.”

    In a twist to the tail, the story opens with piebald Mary, who is eating grass when the Angel Gabriel, Rocky the dog, arrives to tell her she is in foal.

    Continues below…

    She and her handsome gelding husband Joseph travel to Bethlehem, where all the stables are full so they have to sleep in a barn. Here they are met by equine wise men and a suspiciously large-looking sheep.

    “We tried to use the well-behaved horses!” said Caitlain, who thanked her tutor Danielle Haughton for directing the film and putting it together. “They still wanted to go where there they wanted, and there were people standing in the wrong places, or not speaking at the right moments; there were more mistakes from people than the horses!”

    Donations collected at the screening went to the Croft End retired horse fund, which supports retired riding school equines.

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