Happy ending for much-loved horses

A north Norfolk horse sanctuary has come to the rescue of two shire horses which have been the subject of much attention.

Hillside Shire Horse Sanctuary at West Runton has taken in Clydesdales Darcy and Murdoch which were prime attractions at the Bradford Industrial Museum in West Yorkshire.

A cut in government funding forced the museum to scale back and the pair – which have a strong bond having lived together all their lives –were to be passed on, with the likelihood that they would be split up.

People in Bradford put up a fight to keep the pair together. A petition was put together by a Bradford school to the local council and the subject attracted the attention of local media.

But now Hillside Shire Horse Sanctuary has answered the pleas.

John Watson, assistant manager of Hillside, said: 'It's difficult to find a home for a horse, let alone two large shire horses. It was causing concern, they'd got the attention of the people and were loved in Bradford. People took away memories of them.'

The pair arrived at the sanctuary yesterday and immediately started munching hay. They will retire at the sanctuary, although they may be put to gentle use as guides.

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'People see animals as an unnecessary expense when times are hard,' said Mr Watson.

'Our supporters are still fantastic but we are receiving less donations now and seeing more requests for us to take in animals.

'But this is a happy ending story. As long as they are together they'll be fine. I think they'll be really happy.'

joe.wilkes@archant.co.uk

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