The loss of a special companion always leaves a gaping hole in daily life. When Caroline and Neil House from south-west Essex sent us an email following the death of their horse it seemed to sum up the regard which owners have for their Cleveland Bays. Rather than a simple announcement, we felt that the esteem in which Lady was held merited the following tribute.
Caroline wrote -
"On the 17th September we made the heartbreaking decision to have our wonderful Cleveland mare Lady put to sleep. She was unpapered but undoubtedly a purebred to look at and in character. She was bought by her previous owner as a three year old from an elderly breeder in Hertfordshire but despite assurances that her papers would follow they never did. We acquired Lady in 1992 as a 7 year old on a loan arrangement following another failed loan arrangement where the gentleman used to ride her to the pub, tie her up and promptly forget her!
After reading that email we asked Caroline to send us some more details. The name of the breeder remains a mystery but it is likely that he was a specifically Cleveland breeder. Given that Lady was born in 1985 perhaps someone will remember a Hertfordshire breeder from that period. She came to Caroline and Neil via a firm (no longer trading) called The Loan Arranger from previous owners in Great Amwell. She was purchaed two years later.
Nothing can replace Lady but Caroline and Neil have decided they will find another Cleveland to share a whole new adventure with. They won't look just yet, for now is a time to reflect. As Caroline said "Horses touch a part of you no other animal can, they are special and some much more than others".
Lady was mainly an enthusiastic hacker but rode a cross country course like an express train. She would not put a hoof over a coloured pole...clearly didn't see the point! In the early years she entered show hunter and working hunter classes, always being placed in the top three. Fun rides were good but Lady wanted to be up front and could be impatient, but never nasty or nappy. She was mystified by the notion of doing anything in or near water but loved snow!
When she came to us she couldn't canter and we spent a long time in schooling and were rewarded tenfold with a wonderful, honest and brave horse that was a true pleasiure to own. She was a friend to everyone and never 'mareish'. Words cannot describe the devastating feeling of emptiness at her loss. I truly hope that one day I will have another Cleveland but for now we are just treasuring her memory."