‘WE DID IT TOGETHER!’ The words written in green chalk on the noticeboard outside Park Lane Stables are a humble reminder of a huge overnight success.
With only a week to go and the fund just skimming the halfway mark, the prospect looked bleak. If the goal wasn’t met, the stables would be sold and a 200 year legacy of horses would be lost for ever.
Then the BBC rocked up, did a news item for the Breakfast Show which aired on 18th February and suddenly the money started pouring in at £10K per minute. There were floods of tears from the viewers as stories were revealed about young adults like Dominic who suffers from cerebral palsy, and Hannah who is partially sighted. Spending time with horses has been proven to help with mental and physical well-being. Prodney, the 40-year-old gelding with no teeth and a penchant for sucking carrots like cigars, became an instant star.
Two hours later the £1 million target had been met with pledges still rolling in.
The campaign was helped by celebrities Rob Brydon, Rory Bremner and Clare Balding and featured on radio, in magazines and ITV’S Good Morning Britain and This Morning. Social media was rampant.
Local businesses selling anything from cheese to artwork donated their proceeds, and passers-by handed money over at the door along with treats for the horses and staff.
Natalie, the proprietor, now has a future to look forward to.
She can buy the stables for the community and hopefully a field for turnout and training.
While it is a time to celebrate, there is always work to do, horses to be fed and exercised, and hay to be unloaded.
Natalie thanks everyone wholeheartedly for their support. From children with their pocket money to company directors, every single pound has helped win this day for the tiny stables with a huge heart.
Words & Photographs