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Last living Black Beauty honoured with commemorative plaque

The last living Black Beauty has been recognised with a commemorative plaque in honour of the place he holds in the hearts of the public.

Billy, 29, was one of the five horses who played the lead role in the 1994 adaptation of Anna Sewell’s classic novel.

Since then, he has starred in a Guinness commercial, many music videos and has now retired to the countryside.

“I love that it’s still a film so many remember so fondly, but most of all that it all lives on in Billy,” said his owner, Louise Maryon.

I fell in love with Billy on set and that hasn’t changed to this day. It’s amazing that he’s being recognised with this plaque, it just goes to show what a great horse he is – not just to me, but to many others too.

“It’ll make a very welcome addition to our stables, and is sure to be a conversation starter with anyone who visits and didn’t know about Billy’s movie star past.”

A former H&H coverstar was also presented with a plaque.

Vintage Port (Pip Squeak) hunted with the Quorn, team-chased and took part in side-saddle displays at Blenheim. He was twice on the cover of H&H, in 2003 and 2006.

The veteran grey is now excelling in his latest career as a Riding for the Disabled Association horse and won the charity’s horse of the year award in 2017.

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The plaque scheme was launched this autumn by house and pet sitting website, TrustedHousesitters.

It mirrors the English Heritage blue plaque initiative, which places a marker on the homes notable men and women lived and worked in.

The green TrustedHousesitters plaques feature a summary of the animal’s achievement as well as a set of “ears”.

“For over 150 years we have honoured deserving people with blue plaques, we felt it was time to celebrate the nation’s love for our animals by honouring them in a similar way,” said TrustedHousesitters’ managing director, Tim Lyons.

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