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‘Will you marry me?’: Christmas Eve ‘dress rehearsal’ pays off for rider

A rider who successfully proposed to his girlfriend on a Christmas Day hack had prepared for the occasion by way of a dress rehearsal with a mutual friend, and both the couple’s horses.

Luke Brewin dropped to one knee — having dismounted from his mare Cassie — to pop the question to Victoria Page on a frosty 25 December ride.

Victoria told H&H their mutual friend Sophie Morris took Victoria’s former racehorse Planetoid out for a ride with Luke on Christmas Eve.

“I said ‘yes; take him’; Luke wanted to do a dress rehearsal to see how the horses were,” she said. “Cassie was very worried by the horse statue where he did it, so it was lucky they had the dress rehearsal, or it could have been a different story!”

Victoria, 37, said she and 38-year-old Luke had arranged to go for a morning ride on Christmas Day, but she could not understand his enthusiasm to get going so early.

“He was saying we needed to be out by 8.30am and I was thinking ‘Why are you rushing me? We’ve got all day’,” she said.

“Then Lucy Lee, a girl at the yard, said she’d join us and I said ok, not knowing it was all planned for her to take the pictures.”

The three set off, accompanied by Victoria and Luke’s two dogs, on a regular route of theirs.

“There’s a nice spot with a horse statue, overlooking the hills of West Wycombe, and Luke said ‘Let’s have a nice picture here’,” Victoria said.

“Lucy said she’d take it, and he asked me to go on the other side of him. I thought ‘Why does it matter what side I’m on?’ and then ‘Why’s he getting off?’ I had no idea!”

Victoria said she was speechless, although she managed to say a delighted yes, and they rode back to the yard.

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“I kept taking my glove off to look at the ring, and thinking ‘has this actually happened?’” she said. “It was such a lovely sunny morning, and because he’d told everyone, when we got back to the yard, they had prosecco, balloons and cake — then it was back home, to cook Christmas dinner!”

The pair, who met through riding and both love racing, would like to hold an engagement party at Windsor racecourse in spring, if Covid restrictions allow, and are thinking of marrying the following May.

“This was very much in character for Luke as the dogs and horses are very much part of our lives,” Victoria said. “It was a whirlwind day.”

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