My War Horse

Annabelle Jackman with her Exmoor pony Toto

Annabelle Jackman with her Exmoor pony Toto Buy this photo

First published in News by

Seventy-year-OLD Bridport resident Annabelle Jackman is preparing to undertake the challenge of a lifetime with an eight-day charity horse ride next month through Belgium and northern France, visiting historic First World War battlefield sites.

Due to start from September 4 the ‘Battlefield Centenary Tour 2014’, organised by World Horse Welfare, will be comprised of around a dozen riders from around the UK, a local guide, a representative from World Horse Welfare, and a retired British Army officer to detail key points about the sites they visit.

Among the locations the group will visit is the grave of famed war poet Wilfred Owen, who was killed in action crossing the Sambre-Oise Canal, France, in November 1918.

Speaking recently about the trip, Annabelle said she was looking forward to the adventure, even though a few nerves were starting to surface.

“Although I own an Exmoor pony and a donkey I am an infrequent rider and slightly apprehensive, but I turned 70 this year and it’s a rite of passage.

“My sister-in-law did one a couple of years ago but it was beyond my level or horsemanship.

“This is easier and a progressive ride where we will be staying in a variety of farmhouses, gîtes, and a gypsy caravan. I don’t have any family connection with World War One but I have visited battlefields before and they are very moving.”

She added: “The aim as well is to raise funds for World Horse Welfare. Friends, relatives, and some local businesses in Bridport have all donated and will each receive a report from me about the trip when I return.”

According to information provided by World Horse Welfare, the money raised goes towards assisting its work in the UK and abroad to improve the lives of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.

World Horse Welfare covers rehabilitating abused and neglected equines.

It also aims to educate people overseas in the best way of looking after their horses.

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