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Gift horses: ‘At 5.45am on Christmas morning, I was on my way to hospital, and all I could say was, ‘I love my pony’’ *H&H Plus*

Many children dream of unwrapping a pony at Christmas time – even if they’re in for a rocky ride. Eleanor Jones meets the lucky few whose wishes came true

When Paula Pearson’s parents planned to buy her a pony for Christmas, they hoped it would be the most magical of mornings. And it was – until the pony threw her into a brick wall. That Christmas Day, also Paula’s fifth birthday, was 61 years ago but Paula remembers every minute, and not just because she was taken straight to hospital.

Paula explains that she had been “born horse-crazy”, to non-horsey parents. And when her grandfather worked for a local man who bred Welsh ponies, his pay was a stallion.

“My great-uncle, who would have known better, wasn’t aware,” she said. “A neighbour had delivered the pony in a pick-up truck and by 5.30am, I couldn’t wait any longer.

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