I’ve photographed prize-winning stallions, HOYS winners, showjumpers, eventers, top show horses, paralympic dressage gold medallists… And I think that Shogun might just be my favourite model ever! This horse is absolutely amazing!!
So many of you commented on the competition that I ran on Senior Citizen Day, for an OAP pony to win a photoshoot, and we chose forty-seven year-old Shogun. FORTY SEVEN!! And he developed quite a little fan club on Facebook when I announced him as the winner. So, I know there will be a lot of you eagerly awaiting these images.
I have to admit, I expected to turn up and meet a decrepit old pony, who was doddering around his field and living out his last days in peace and quiet. What I didn’t expect was for Shogun’s owners, the lovely Sue and Natalie, to start discussing the location possibilities around the local area. And I really didn’t expect Natalie to tack Shogun up and hop on board. And what I definitely didn’t expect was for Shogun to jog sideways, up ahead, the entire way to the beautiful old castle we used for their shoot backdrop! To say I was absolutely gobsmacked was an understatement!!! If I mentioned once, during the shoot, that I thought he was amazing, I must have mentioned it a thousand times!
Old man Shogun has no teeth, so he’ll slobber all over you and has to have all of his food liquidised, but he was so excited to be out on his first ride in four years, and super proud to be carrying Natalie through their village. Honestly, he totally melted my heart. There is something so noble and humbling about old animals, and to see such an old horse, literally bouncing with energy and bursting with character was just fabulous.
Now, I think you’ll agree, Sue and Natalie deserve some serious recognition here. They took Shogun on for Natalie when they noticed that he wasn’t being treated with the love and respect a veteran pony deserved, at the local riding school. They bought him thinking that he might be in his twenties, and it was only a few years ago, when Shogun suffered from a case of choke, that the vet informed Sue and Natalie of how old their golden oldie really was!
We have also since found out that Shogun is just four years off of the Guiness World Record for the oldest horse, who is 51! And whilst I know that anything can happen and we never know how long we’ve got on this earth, if Shogun’s energy levels are anything to go by, I wouldn’t surprise in the slightest if he smashed the record in four years time.