Linda & Lottie – A ‘Remember Me’ Shoot, Norfolk

Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with this write up. I mentioned last week that I’d photographed a sweet little mare with the most horrific back story. I’ve spoken to her owners about how much they were happy with me sharing, as the circumstances are incredibly sensitive. But Lottie’s owner, Linda, is happy for me to tell their story and I think that if it can prevent anything like this from every happening to anybody else, it’s worth writing. But be warned, it’s not for the faint at heart.

I received a message back in October, from a lady called Emerald, asking about the possibility of booking a shoot for her mum’s horse, Lottie. She explained that Lottie had recently been through the most horrendous ordeal imagineable and that there was a possibility that the injuries she’d sustained, as a result, would mean that she would have to be put to sleep in the near future.

Emerald told me that Lottie’s story had been in quite a few newspapers at the time, so I looked it up and was just totally horrified. I could not believe what I’d read!

Lottie is a beautiful, gentle, twenty-one year-old Hanoverian mare and Linda has owned her for eleven years. Together they have competed in many dressage competitions and Lottie is now retired. Linda tells me that she is super laid back, kind and she clearly adores this little horse.

However, earlier this year, a stranger broke into Lottie’s stable at night, high on cocaine and amphetamines and he sexually assaulted her. The attack lasted over an hour and Linda and her husband only found out about it as they had recently installed cameras on the small, privately owned yard.

This lowest form of human being, who is also a married father of three, has since admitted to the attack and has been jailed to just fourteen months. I’m absolutely dumbfounded that that is seen to be an adequate punishment.

Emerald emailed me shortle after our initial conversation, to tell me that Lottie was having an operation and that they had their fingers crossed for her, so we held off on the shoot. However, tragically, the operation hasn’t been successful and Linda tells me that their options for Lottie have now run out. She will have to be put down as there is nothing left they can do. My heart breaks for this poor family.

I think you’ll agree that there simply are no words to describe how vile and loathsome this man is and no amount of suffering will ever be penance for what he has done.

I try to keep these Remember Me shoot as light and upbeat as possible and I really love that Linda is smiling so much in these photos, despite the circumstances. This little mare is obviously loved so deeply. I always want my clients to look at their images and see the love they share with their horses and I feel like the shots of Linda and Lottie together really convey that.

Lottie’s co-stars, on this shoot, were little Bobby, Emerald’s first pony and Finn, the very handsome chestnut, who definitely thought that HE should have been centre of everybody’s attention.

I want to finish by saying that, after hearing Lottie’s story, I hope it will encourage people to install cameras on their yard, if they haven’t already. Unfortunately, our horses can’t tell us what goes on whilst we are asleep in our beds and thank goodness Linda had CCTV footage that lead to the conviction of this monster, as they just never would have imagined what had been happening whilst they weren’t there.

I’d also like to extend my deepest sympathy to Linda, Lottie and family at such an awful time. I have no words and I can’t even pretend to know how dreadful this has been for you all. Sending you all the love in the world and thank you for letting me capturing Lottie for you.

 

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