A HEREFORDSHIRE horse has been shortlisted for a top award after teaching more than 50 people to ride.

The Scout, a 22-year-old gelding who has taught more than 50 people to ride (many of them people with disabilities), has been shortlisted to win the Agria Horse of a Lifetime award at the annual Horse & Hound Awards.

The Lifetime epithet is inspired by Agria’s Lifetime Equine insurance, a revolutionary lifetime horse insurance that means vet fees can be covered year after year.

Owned for 17 years by Joanne Alderton-Whitworth, Scout was originally bred for pacing, and is described by his owner as ‘one in a million’.

Besides all he has done for riders with disabilities, Joanne has loved competing him in a range of disciplines, hacking, and as a much-loved member of the family:.

"My daughter has been happily washing his legs off since she was four years old," she said.

Vicki Wentworth, Chief Executive of Agria UK, said: "Our business is all about supporting horses through long and active lives, and what could be more perfect than having a horse like Scout shortlisted for our award, having done so much for so many?"


Recently, when a para rider based herself at Joanne’s yard at Redbrook Farm near Ross-on-Wye, and needed to rebuild her confidence after a fall from her own horse, the answer was to put her on The Scout.

They ended up winning this year’s Grade I Gold Para Championships at the National Dressage Championships.

"He’d been bought for an RDA centre as a five-year-old but wasn’t ready for that environment, became quite naughty and was sent to us to sell," said Joanne.

"But I liked him first time I sat on him. He was just such a kind and attentive horse."

Joanne and her family bought him instead and the rest is history.

Joanne and her mum then ran their own RDA centre for many years, and Scout became involved in that besides being a fun riding horse.

"He’s a very special horse, the way you can trust him, though he’s a terrible weaver and you can’t put just anybody on him," said Joanne.

"He needs someone with nice hands or he’s not receptive at all."

Horses and ponies for Agria’s Horse of a Lifetime award are nominated and voted for by the public, with the final winners announced on the evening of November 30 at the Horse & Hound awards at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Another of the four short-listed horses is Carltonlima Emma, the Fell pony ridden by the late Queen Elizabeth, who was led out to welcome home her mistress on the day of her funeral.

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