A PONY that found a place in the hearts of a couple of generations has died at the grand old age of 33.
Villagers and regular visitors to Worsthorne had been used to seeing Maggie, the Arab cross pony, grazing happily in her field between Worsthorne and Hurstwood for three decades. Several people brought their children to feed Maggie and her son, Duke, and were saddened to hear that she has had to be put to sleep due to old age and severe arthritis.
Maggie was the first pony bought for her owner, Mrs Alison Leigh, when she was just 12 years old.
Now 43, she told the Express: “It has been a heartbreaking week. So many people knew Maggie and many used to go and visit her with their children and now their grandchildren.
“She was a familiar sight, always there in the field and so many people have said how sad they feel about her death. But 33 is a fantastic age for a horse, she has done really well. Maggie captured a lot of hearts and we all have some lovely memories of her.’’
The gentle natured pony had been ridden by Alison and her friends over the years and eventually their children, including Alison’s two little boys Alex, who is four and 18-month-old Louka.
Alison of Extwistle Road, said: “She was a gentle natured pony who never put a foot wrong. Alex understands that she is no longer here and he was upset about it but I have tried to explain to him that she was old and ill.’’
Maggie gave birth to her foal Duke when she was four and the pair had only been apart once when he was taken away to be broken in at a professional horse training school for six weeks. Both horses were trained to pull a cart and several years ago they were a familiar sight around the village with Alison’s father driving them.
Alison recently bought Izzy, a little grey Welsh Mountain pony as a companion for Maggie and Duke.