‘They were mesmerised’: horse who walked down the aisle moves churchgoers to tears

  • A horse moved a church congregation to tears as he walked down the aisle and received a blessing at a Sunday service.

    Lisa Watt, 43, took her 25-year-old 16.3hh gelding Ollie to be blessed at Garthdee Parish Church in Aberdeen yesterday (3 June).

    Lisa told H&H she approached Reverend Dr Flora Munroe with the unusual request.

    “It’s the church I’ve been attending since I was two. It’s been earmarked for closure and because its future isn’t certain, and with Ollie getting older, I asked the reverend if I could have Ollie blessed there and she agreed.

    “We had a couple of meetings with the reverend beforehand and she came to meet Ollie at the yard last Friday (31 May) so he knew who she was.”

    Belgian warmblood Ollie was taken by a transport company to the service.

    “We unloaded him at the side of the church. A lot of the congregation thought it was going to be a Shetland pony coming so his size took a lot of them aback – they were mesmerised by him,” said Lisa.

    “The reverend introduced Ollie and we came in to a hymn and led him down the aisle. Ollie and I received a blessing and we walked out to another hymn; a lot of people were crying. We went back to the yard and had a little celebration party.”

    Lisa said she has a special bond with Ollie, on whom she used to compete in dressage.

    “He’ll do anything I ask him to. When I got him 11 years ago we didn’t bond at first – I thought I was going to have to sell him. Seven months later I panicked when he had a nosebleed and from then we were inseparable,” she said.

    “With other horses I’ve owned, we’ve clicked straight away, but since I clicked with Ollie it’s been a different bond from what I’ve had with others. He is so special to me, if anything ever happened I don’t know what I’d do.”

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    The blessing has received a lot of attention online.

    “I’ve had a lot of people contact me saying they didn’t know you could have a blessing, I don’t know if every church would do it,” said Lisa.

    “I feel like Ollie is now protected. I know he’s not exempt from anything but I feel like he’s being looked over now.”

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