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Tributes paid to ‘feisty’ chestnut mare who taught children to ride

Tributes have been paid to a small pony with the “biggest of characters” who served a charity teaching children to ride.

Chestnut mare Gucci, who retired to the Horse Trust in June 2019 from the charity Windsor Horse Rangers, was put down on 27 February aged 15 owing to issues with arthritis.

A spokesman for the Horse Trust said 13.2hh Gucci had been a “firm favourite” with all who met her at the Windsor Horse Rangers, a charity established in 1972 with the aim of teaching children to ride who do not have access to horses and ponies.

“Before her life working with the charity she participated in lots of Pony Club events, excelling in activities and giving enormous amounts of confidence to children whether they were a beginner or experienced,” she said.

“Gucci thoroughly enjoyed being ridden but her all-time favourite thing to do was jumping. It was said she was a fantastic jumping pony who loved her job.”

The spokesman said the team at the charity had been sad to see the mare retire, but happy she was starting her new life at the Horse Trust with fellow Windsor Ranger pony Perry.

“When Gucci retired to us we were told that she had a strong character and was often referred to as the ‘feisty redhead’ – she most definitely lived up to that reputation and we absolutely adored her for it,” she said.

“A small pony with the biggest of characters, in Gucci’s head she definitely thought she was more 16.2hh than 13.2hh – you would have to be brave to tell her otherwise.”

The spokesman added that a wonderful memory of Gucci was her official retirement at a Horse Trust open day event; Horses Hounds and Heroes.

“She strutted down in the parade so proudly, you would never have thought she was retiring,” she said. “She was so full of beans and loved the cheers from the crowd.”

The spokesman said in recent weeks Gucci’s arthritis had “taken its toll”.

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“She received the very best veterinary care, but it was in her best interest that we made the heartbreaking decision to let her go from the pain and say goodbye,” she said.

Horse Trust chief executive Jeanette Allen told H&H while Gucci had not been with the charity long, she would not be forgotten.

“She had a huge personality and it’s such a shame that her arthritis advanced so quickly. She will definitely be missed,” she said.

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