Before I went away on holiday, I visited Great Bookham Equestrian Centre, in Surrey, to meet Lauren, Anthony and their lovely mare, Polo for a Remember Me shoot. Due to various reasons, we decided to hold off on posting these images online for a little while, but Lauren has given me permission to go ahead and share their story, now.
Twenty-five year-old Polo had been with Lauren for ten years and was the first horse she officially owned, after a long list of shared ponies. At the time, Lauren was insitent that everything of Polo’s was pink or purple and despite her fairly high mileage as a showjumper, with previous owners, she was perfect for Lauren to enjoy.
Lauren met Anthony not long after she bought Polo and together they would travel on the bus, South London out to Surrey, to see her on the week-nights and get dropped at the yard by their parents at the weekend, until they were old enough to drive themselves. So, almost from the very beginning, she has been very much their horse.
Over the years, Lauren, Anthony and Polo attended at a few local shows, but mostly the three of them would just enjoy one another’s company and have fun together. Once the couple could drive, they’d get up at 4.30am to see Polo and then they’d travel into central London for work.
Sadly, when Polo was just seventeen, she was struck with a bad case of arthritis. Lauren and Anthony managed it as best they could, with medication and a low workload, but they felt that the time had finally come, at the end of this summer, where her quality of life was finally being affected. Over the past few winters, Polo has hated the colder temperatures and Lauren and Anthony have struggled to keep weight on her, as well as various other issues.
Lauren tells me that they knew this summer would be her last and that she’s grateful that she’s had a fantastic summer. But she wanted to make sure that Polo kept her dignity and wasn’t forced to suffer through any more winters. She says that she has taught her so much and that she and Anthony owe her that much.
So, back in October, Polo was put to sleep with a warm, healthy summer as her final memory. Lots of love and hugs to Lauren and Anthony, who did the very best for their gorgeous girl, right to the very last.
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