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  • Writer's pictureEbony

Celebrate with us!

I hear all our helpers buzzing with Coronation news and ideas. What a weekend you will all have. The Shelley Centre is joining in with Volunteering Monday.

The day marks the King's lifetime of public service and encourage others to try volunteering for themselves.

Hmph. You don’t have to make it a lasting visit to us here but do please come along in your scruffiest clothes and get stuck in! There will be many jobs to do to help us out and we shall be most grateful to have your company

At least the horses at the centre won’t be working. Spare a thought for the horses who must pull the Coronation Coach for the newly crowned Charles III, the Windsor Greys. (They're so called because they used to be kept at Windsor in Victorian times, where they drew the private carriages of the Royal Family.) Windsor Greys are at least 16.1 hands (1.65m) high at the withers and are chosen for their steady temperament and stamina.

We could do with a couple here, for some of our adult riders on our long waiting list.

The huge coach is seven metres long, 3.6 metres tall, weighs four tonnes, and needs eight horses to draw it. It is so heavy the horses can only walk, and apparently it is very uncomfortable to travel in. Leather straps support the coach instead of springs and it undulates like a ship in rough seas. Hope the King and Queen Consort don’t get seasick on their big day.

Here at the Centre we are saying a fond farewell to Alfie. Not a Windsor Grey but a lovely grey Connemara who has been here for the last nine years. He has medical issues that prevent him from working; a kind retirement home must be found. Alfie was able to carry the older children and some of our lighter adults, he will be missed. Guess I shall be taking on some of his riders until another live horse can be found to replace him.


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