An event rider from Wiltshire had a wedding to remember — riding up the aisle and completing her first dance on four legs rather than two.
Jessica and Tom Davies’ wedding was held at the couple’s competition livery yard, Equestrian Heights, in Seend, Melksham, on Saturday (16 May).
Twenty-four-year-old Jessica rode her horse Toffee through the stable barn and was married surrounded by the yard’s 17 horses who had all been plaited and washed for the occasion.
That evening she rode her first dance on the 20-year-old gelding, who she has owned since she was 10, alongside her new husband Tom.
“My original plan was to ride down the aisle but then dad suggested I do a tango with a twist on Toffee,” Mrs Davies told Horse & Hound.
“I wasn’t massively up for it to start with as Toffee has been retired. But we brought him back into work to see what he was capable of and decided to go ahead.”
The 14.2hh New Forest x thoroughbred had been out of work for a year and it took six weeks to make sure he was fit enough for the surprise performance.
“Tom and I were both really nervous, we’re not flamboyant people, and just before I went in I didn’t want to do it,” said Jessica.
“We had done a dress rehearsal and the second Toffee saw himself in the arena mirror with the dress he freaked out.”
But Toffee managed to contain his excitement on the day and delighted the audience of 120 guests, rearing on cue and twisting and turning around Tom.
“The second I was on it was fine. It was very special and Toffee behaved so well — we just avoided the mirrors,” Jessica added.
H&H recommends wearing appropriate clothing, footwear and safety wear when riding.