‘Horse Power’, organised by the World Horse Welfare, was a unique family day out boasting something for everyone with a packed programme for all the family in aid of Britain’s largest horse charity.
The action filled day began with a grand opening by the Ballater and District Pipe Band, followed by equestrian parades from Belwade’s very own horsey residents and equestrian gymnastics on horseback with the Equibuddy Vaulting Team.
Making a Royal appearance was Digger the famous Clydesdale, the biggest horse that World Horse Welfare has ever cared for, close to Europe’s largest horse he stands at an enormous 19.1hh – and he is still growing!
The 10-year-old Clydesdale came into the charity’s care in 2007 because he was suffering due to his size – he was growing so fast and at such a young age, that problems started to occur with the joints in his hind legs.
After extensive rehabilitation from World Horse Welfare and gentle veterinary care, Digger regained confidence and at nine foot from the ground to the tip of his ears and weighing almost a tonne, it’s easy to see why this gentle giant caught the Household Cavalry’s eye.
As part of Digger’s training with The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment he took part in Royal Wedding preparations and Major General Parades.
Eileen Gillen, Centre Manager at World Horse Welfare Belwade Farm in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire has been caring for Digger since he arrived in 2007, she says:
“When Digger first arrived I was shocked as I had never seen a horse so big! His enormous size and the fact that he was only young and still growing was causing problems with the joints in his hind legs. It took surgery at the Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital in Edinburgh and many months of rehabilitation before he was well enough to start work. I always had high hopes for him but never in my wildest dreams did I think he’d have a Royal calling!
“I could not be prouder of him or my staff, who worked so hard to get him to the stage he is now. He is a fantastic example of the work that World Horse Welfare does to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses. Belwade’s brand new arena, visitor centre and cafe was buzzing with activities.