Shetland finds his soulmate in time for Valentine’s Day

  • A Shetland “stud” has found his soulmate just in time for Valentine’s Day.

    In trainer Emma Massingale’s latest fun film, 10-year-old Shetland gelding Albert can be seen searching for a mate on the aptly-named equine dating site Plenty of Nags. When Pricilla, played by three-year-old miniature gelding Percy (don’t tell Albert), catches his fancy, he can be seen wooing his new friend with roses and a picnic.

    In part two, 12 months fast-forwarded after a scene in which hoof boots are shown strewn across the hallway, Albert and Pricilla are shown getting to grips with their new arrival; a “foal” played by miniature horse Stuart.

    Devon-based Emma, whose fiancé Jeremy Colwill helps with the filming, told H&H the point of the films is to make people smile, adding the ponies were “hysterical” to film despite testing weather conditions.

    “It has been so hard getting the videos filmed with the weather – the number of times the picnic blanket blew away, I had to have them lie down and wedge it under them. But we’ve had so much fun making them,” she said. “The ponies are all so clever and they tell a story so well.”

    Albert is no stranger to the camera, having starred in Emma’s earlier films including The Cutest Little Lifesavers, where he learned life-saving CPR skills with fellow Shetland Ernie. Pricilla, aka Percy, was part of Emma’s 2019 adventure across Europe in a specially adapted tricycle with miniature Shetland Stanley.

    “I try to keep things quite simple for them,” said Emma. “Albert and Ernie are quite experienced now and can do a lot of the tricks but this was Percy’s first time filming. When I asked him to lie down on the bed it was like he said ‘ok I’ve got this’ and he was loving it – we had some hilarious out-takes of him snoozing away on the bed while Jeremy and I discussed filming.

    “Over time they pick up more and more, but it’s about building up their confidence and them enjoying it so their personalities shine through. Stuart is eight months old and just starting out in his acting career; I prefer to get them from babies because it’s nice to help bring out their cheeky playful characters and teach them the tricks.”

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    Fans can look forward to more videos throughout the year from Emma, who has lots of ideas planned.

    “It’s all about making people laugh,” said Emma. “I get loads of pleasure reading peoples’ comments about them enjoying the films and it’s a fun way of showing horses off.

    “I’ve been teaching the ponies to come hiking with me so we’ve been hiking across Dartmoor and they’ve been carrying the equipment in their own little rucksacks. I’m hoping to share that with people this year and invite people to come along with me on some adventures. The plan is to carry on with my liberty work and hopefully I’ll keep coming up with ideas people enjoy watching.”

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