On Sunday I made a quick (five hour round) trip over to Derby, before heading off to my Mum and Dad’s for a Father’s Day roast dinner.
I went to meet Emma and her handsome dun pony, Shamrock. Emma has had twenty-eight year-old Shamrock for nineteen years, now, since her wonderful Mum took out a loan to buy him for her.
Shamrock, who’s showname is ‘All Dunn N Dusted’, is a Connemara cross Thoroughbred and Emma has always called him her Peter Pan pony, because he just never seemed to grow old. That is, until the past year. Although in his mind he is still a young, fit four year-old.
Emma and Shamrock have tried their hooves and hands at everything, over the years. They’ve given affiliated showjumping a go, aswell as local and county level showing, dressage, Pony Club and eventing. Emma tells me that she has the trophy cabinet to prove it and that he was always in the ribbons, no matter what it was they were competing at.
As the years passed, they turned their attention to veteran showing and even western riding. He’s also apparently a brilliant babysitter for the younger horses on the yard, both in the field and out hacking.
There was so much I loved about this shoot; Shamrock’s deep golden coat colour, against the vibrant red of Emma’s hair. The beautiful locations… Everybody apologises to me for the length of the grass, in overgrown fields, but long, wild grass makes the most fantastic backdrop! Just look how pretty it looks!!
Sadly, Shamrock has had to retire, more recently, due to arthritis and problems with his sight. He gets nervous as he can’t see properly and Emma said that they are taking everything very slowly now and that even though the pony she thought would never grow old is a bit more grumpy-old-man, than Peter Pan, these days, she feels he’s well and truly earned that right.
“He has taught me everything and been my best friend, always listening to what I have to moan on about,” Emma says. “We now take everyday as it comes and let him decide what he wants to do. He has looked after me for so long, I now get the pleasure to do the same for him.”
Emma feels that once Shamrock has enjoyed this summer, she may well have a difficult decision to face. Which is why we squeezed this shoot in for her, at the last minute. However, for now, Shamrock is happy as a field ornament and enjoying being a pampered old boy. And long may that continue.
Now fully booked for June & July.
BOOK YOUR SHOOT NOW for August/September 2016 –http://www.sophiecallahanphotography.com/#!book-a-shoot/p0zf9
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