A miniature horse who made an incredible recovery from multiple stab wounds has appeared as a Christmas gift in a stunning photoshoot.
Budding photographer Florence Wood was inspired to capture her family’s miniature horses for a project for her HND photography course.
She was given the theme “The Beautiful and the Bizarre” by her tutors, and decided to snap the “beautiful” horses in some unusual situations.
Apollo’s Sol Invictus, who was stabbed 16 times in a random attack in April 2018, appears with his owner Harriet, who is Florence’s sister.
He is seen in his full winter coat, dressed as a Christmas present with a sack full of hay.
“People have been so supportive over Sol and the way we think about it is that we are very lucky still to have him,” said Florence and Harriet’s mother Lesley.
“Florence wanted to capture the ponies doing something they wouldn’t usually be doing, so she thought it would be nice to have Sol dressed up for Christmas at this time of year.
“Sol didn’t mind at all, he is very easy. He spends half his life dressed up as a unicorn anyway as he has a unicorn onesie!” she added.
After making a final appearance at the Royal International, which he had qualified for before the attack, Sol retired from showing because of his scars, but although he is currently in his winter fluff, Lesley said he would return to the ring next year.
“Although he won’t be doing top class showing any more, we can still have fun showing him in performance classes and we might try introducing him to driving,” she said.
The pictures also feature purebred Falabella Micatos Edwardos Rainbow (Eddie), who belongs to Florence. He poses in the lounge reading a magazine with Lesley.
Florence has previously broken 16-year-old Eddie to drive, as well as showing him, and this year they have been contesting SSADL (veterans) classes and have qualified for the championship final at Olympia.
“Florence is autistic and used to ride Shetlands, but when she outgrew them and went on to large breeds, she didn’t like the noise they made,” Lesley explained.
“She said she wanted a miniature and we bought Eddie just as a pet, but within six to eight weeks she had qualified him for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
“Don’t ever mess with an autistic kid as they will prove you wrong!” Lesley added. “She said she wanted to do SSADL and we said he’d never compete with the plaited horses, but told her if she filled in the forms we would take her. He went champion in the first round and qualified so easily.
“We’re very excited for next week now, it’s one big show we’ve never done before, so it’s a dream come true to have got him to Olympia.”
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As preparations begin in earnest for the London International Horse Show at Olympia next week, we went behind the scenes
Lesley added that while Florence’s tutors had loved the project, and thought it was very unusual, it wasn’t in fact all that uncommon for Eddie to make an appearance in her lounge.
“As you can tell, he is quite used to it!” she said.
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