Have you ever decided that you love your horse so much that you want to marry them? Well, you are not alone, because a wedding took place on Friday 22 May between a hunting man and his faithful horse.
Renowned on the hunting field, Irishman Aidan “Suntan” O’Connell married Oliver, his favourite 25-year-old hunter at Bunratty Manor Hotel in Co Clare in an unusual ceremony.
Aidan told H&H: “There are not many 65-year-olds able to take a partner 40 years their junior down the aisle.”
Dr John L Hassett, a veterinarian and racehorse trainer, was the best man and officiating was Rev Doherty from the Diocese of Killaloe.
After the Reverend had asked if anybody in the congregation knew of any reason why the couple should not get married, he proceeded with the ceremony: “Aidan Donncadha O’Connell of no fixed abode, do you take Oliver Equus as your lawful partner in marriage, with equal sharing of laundry, cooking and ironing”, which he replied “Yes”. Then he turned to Oliver and asked the same question where witnesses report there was a definite nod of the head.
Known in many parts across the world for his immaculate turnout, Aidan was dressed in his usual silk top hat and tails with Prince of Wales cuffs, white breeches, his champagne-topped riding boots and was adorned with his trademark red carnation buttonhole.
A reception was held at the Bunratty Manor Hotel following the service where the speeches were reported to be of a humourous nature. Approximately 40 guests attended, including former Irish eventer Polly Houlihan and many others from all parts of Europe, the USA and beyond. The best man read out messages of goodwill from friends who were unable to attend.