The owner of a 33-year-old gelding has said she is “amazed” at the power of social media which connected her to her horse’s former owners.
Emma Gore from Greater Manchester put a post on Facebook in a bid to track down her 15.1hh Arab Roy’s former owners.
Emma told H&H: “I’ve had him for nine years and he’s been a big part of my life. I said to my sister ‘he’s obviously had a good life before I got him and I know nothing about it.’ I wanted to find out what he did before and if he was the same character as he is now.
“Roy wasn’t just a standard hacking horse, he was a cheeky chappy and he’s definitely made his mark on people’s lives.”
Emma bought Roy from Victoria Romero who she had remained in touch with but through the Facebook post she found former owner Claudia Carter, from Chester, and his breeder Jane Conway.
“If it hadn’t been for Facebook I wouldn’t have been able to find Claudia and Jane. I only had Claudia’s first name and the area she was from,” said Emma.
“It sounds like he was such a cheeky monkey and he still is now. He liked to do showjumping but some days would decide ‘I’m not doing it’. I did some local shows on him but I could only compete locally, we once took him to a county show and we took him there in a box but had to take him home in a trailer because he wouldn’t load back in the box.”
Roy is semi-retired, although he is hacked and schooled by Emma’s 14-year-old niece, Millie.
“He had to have his stifles injected with steroids because they were getting a bit weaker but he’s turned a corner since the injections and has been dragging me up and down the lane at the yard,” said Emma.
“I always wondered if Roy was definitely 33 as even the vet used to question it but Jane confirmed his age is correct. It’s been incredible reconnecting.”
Claudia is visiting Roy next Monday and Emma is arranging for Jane to visit in the future.
“I’m sure it will be quite emotional for us all,” said Emma.
Claudia told H&H she had been talking about Roy to a friend when she received a message about Emma’s Facebook post.
“I owned Roy for eight years. I had been thinking about him and wondered if he was still alive,” said Claudia. “I lost touch with Victoria and to find out he’s alive is amazing – I cried a bit. It was unbelievable having people messaging me about the post.
“He’s always stuck with me, he is the horse that made me the rider I am today. He wasn’t the easiest horse to ride and was a real character.”
‘We tried to retire him, but he wasn't having any of it...’
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Roy was the inspiration behind Claudia’s former horse transport business.
“There were times I had to hack back from shows because he wouldn’t load so he inspired me to start a business, my specialty became dealing with bad loaders and that was because of him,” said Claudia.
“I think when I see him I’ll be quite upset. It’s incredible what can be achieved on Facebook. I hope people will be inspired to search for horses that they have lost touch with because you can find them. Roy stuck with me because I couldn’t find him and then Emma found me, we spent half an hour on the phone exchanging funny stories about him. He’s a special boy and I’m glad someone like Emma found him because he was difficult to ride.”
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