Horse to join mourners at last farewell for Watton woman

Family and friends of Lisa Fletcher, who died of cancer on January 30, will join a very special cortege to her funeral on Thursday - led by her beloved horse Polly.

Throughout their lives together they were an inseparable team. Polly, a part-bred Arabian horse born on her mother's farm, was Lisa's constant companion for nearly 30 years. They competed together at local shows and enjoyed the countryside together on hacks around their Watton home. So when Lisa, 38, lost her long and courageous battle with cancer, her parents Shirley and Mike Fletcher knew that Polly would have to play an important role in her final farewell.

The 28-year-old bright bay mare and three other horses will join with mourners at Lisa's funeral on Thursday at St Mary's Church in Watton where they will pay their last respects to a young woman who lived and worked with horses all her life.

Mrs Fletcher told the EDP that Lisa had helped her break-in the young Polly and from then on they became 'a great team'.

'She idolised Polly and they did very well together,' she said. 'They used to go to local shows and had a great time at the last Wayland Show they did a couple of years ago.

'In May last year she was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer and she had to have pins put in her right arm and left leg. Then she found out she had to have one in her right leg as well and she really started to go downhill. She couldn't get out any more and the worst thing was she couldn't see her horses. We managed to get one of the Shetland ponies in the house through the conservatory to her bedroom, which she loved. She was a very special girl, so brave. She never complained.'

Mrs Fletcher said a friend had started riding Polly for Lisa and he was planning to ride her up to the funeral. Her sister Amanda and friend Vicky will ride two other horses and another friend will ride Maverick, Polly's first foal.

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Mrs Fletcher said Lisa's many friends had been an enormous support over the past few days, along with her nurses and carers.

Donations are being taken for Swaffham & Litcham Home Hospice Support or Marie Curie Cancer Care and may be sent c/o Breckland Funeral Services, 25 Norwich Road, Watton, IP25 6DA.