Happy Birth-Bray! Vicar celebrates milestone with his favourite treat
For one vicar this week has not all been about the royal wedding, with Vicar Of Bray reaching his own impressive milestone – his 31st birthday.
With horses having an average life expectancy of between 20 and 30 years, Vicar Of Bray has already surpassed most, and he received his favourite present from owner Fiona Le Vin to mark birthday number 31 on Friday.
“I gave him a huge carrot this morning before he was mucked out and chucked out in the field. He’s not doing too badly at all I’d say," she said.
A four-time winner for trainer Toby Balding, Vicar Of Bray retired as long ago as 1997, since when he has remained active, first as a riding horse and latterly in his Staffordshire field with a companion.
“He was the first horse I ever had,” added Le Vin. “I got him when I was 40 and have had him more than 20 years. He’s certainly a bit of a character and I was still hacking him until he was 25 or so. I’m sure going up and down the gentle hills we have has had something to so with him living so long, as they’ve kept him active.”
Having a sensible head on his shoulders would seem another prerequisite for long life, although Vicar Of Bray is not always a docile individual.
Le Vin said: “He’s very laid-back these days, although he still has his moments, like the other day. I brought him in for his food at 6.30pm and he wasn’t interested – just neighing. I brought his companion in and he kept neighing, so I let them out to have their food outside in the field.
"Instead of eating, he went around bucking and broncing in ever-decreasing circles until he realised he couldn’t really do it! At the end, after a lot of huffing and puffing, they both trotted over to the gate ready to be let in again. He’s a lovely horse to have around.”
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