‘He was at my wedding three weeks ago’: home-producer and riding horse, bought as a Valentine’s present, win at Royal Windsor

  • Recently married home-producer Heather Cure (nee Rothwell) enjoyed a horsey honeymoon, without her new husband, to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where she triumphed in the Royal Windsor amateur riding horses for the second time with her own Happy Valentines (Harvey).

    Harvey, a 10-year-old by Furstenball, was purchased by Preston-based Heather, who is a full-time dog groomer, as a valentine’s present by her now husband, vet Ian Cure, five years ago.

    “Harvey came to the wedding three weeks ago,” said a delighted Heather, who is Royal International bound with Harley in both amateur and open riding horse ranks. “A friend, Astrid Bolton, found him for me. She rang and said she’d found me the most exquisite large riding horse that I must go and see. However, I’d just bought myself a horse and had spent all my money. My other-half insisted that I go and have a look, and unbeknown to me he dealt with it all and bought him.”

    Heather married Ian in the village of Scorton in Lancashire:

    “Harley came with the huntsman on and I sat on him in my wedding dress,” she said. “Harley is like a big family pet. I bring him out when I can and enjoy him. I’ve never over shown him. My kids deal with him at home; they’re regularly climbing on him in fancy dress. He’s a cheap horse to keep; he lives in the field and he eats the same as my ponies. I can drag him out of the field and he always puts on a show and we have a lovely day out.”

    Harley, winner of the Royal Windsor amateur riding horses last year, has been to Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) on several occasions, too:

    “He came over from Holland and he was broken over there,” said Heather. “He’s an exquisite ride; he’s probably the nicest horse I’ve ever sat on. I’d struggle to find another horse of such quality who gives this sort of ride, while being so easy and lovely.”

    “This is technically my honeymoon, without my other half,” laughed Heather, whose two sons made their Windsor debuts on their Shetland pony. “I’m shattered after this week; my two sons rode here for the first time which was a huge step up for them. I promised them they could have a ride at Windsor this year, and they were so excited. To our amazement, they both took fourth in their respective classes. We’ve had the best show ever.”

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