‘Here I was at the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials and I am the coolest teddy horse called Willberry – so why did no one seem to notice me? Then, as if she’d just read my mind, a blonde girl grabbed me off the shelf. “He’s perfect mum” she said to a short, smiley woman with bowed legs – I could see she had clearly ridden all her life.
“Are you sure he’s not too big? Will Hannah like him?” the smiley woman replied.
BIG I thought…? I’ve got a fabulous figure… with a bit of work. And EVERYONE likes me…
“No he’s perfect! Look at him, he’s so cute. Okay then. Let’s get him.” With the decision made, I had a new owner. No more living in a box, trekking to shows and never being wanted. Finally I was going to be loved. But who’s Hannah I wondered?
I spent the next week in a bag… #unimpressed. But one day the bag was picked up, placed in the boot of the car and we travelled to a huge indoor school with loads of beautiful jumps – I really wanted to have a go at jumping but for some reason Emily and Jayne didn’t let me. Obviously they’re saving me for Burghley! Finally I met Hannah as she crutched towards us. She had a huge grin, she had really been missing her show jumping lessons with Jayne. They had a catch up and Hannah stroked my mane – I liked her. It was soon time to say goodbye with my new owner Hannah so I waved my little hoof as we left.
I got to sit on Hannah’s lap and look out of the window in the car. I soon realised from the conversation between her and her Dad that Hannah was quite poorly. She had cancer in her pelvis and hip joint and still needed more scans to find out if it was anywhere else. This made me sad.
Hannah seemed so passionate about horses and was desperate to have the chance to ride at the top of the sport. Eventing was her favourite discipline but she also had a love for dressage and told me she would turn to that if “the fences ever became too big!” She told me about her two horses Chesney and Mavis. Chesney is a 5 year old very orange chestnut. He has been on holiday since Hannah was diagnosed with cancer on 1st May but had a successful, exciting start to the season. Mavis is an 8 year old bay mare now based with Tom Grant to compete at novice level and make the step up to Intermediate this season –the plan Hannah had before she fell ill.
So let me tell you more about my life with Hannah. It is pretty good; we spend every day in bed sometimes going for little walks to Chesney’s field. Hannah can’t sit upright for very long as her pain is excruciating. Travelling is very difficult but we have to do this for hospital scans and even A&E – we went twice last month! The second trip to A&E on 18th May saw Hannah admitted due to pain. They gave her huge dose of morphine to try to quell it but it but it didn’t even dampen the pain! I felt so sad for Hannah, she must be hurting so much and all I could offer was a cuddle.
We were moved to Ward 61, a Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Unit. The nurses are lovely and we settled into our stable quickly. Hannah stayed here for eight days. She had x-rays, bone scans, CT scans, MRI and plenty of blood tests in two days! Then we started chemotherapy. At that point I became CHIEF CHEMO PONY. During those days we discovered that the cancer had not spread to other bones however it had spread to Hannah’s lungs. Fortunately the chemotherapy could target this too.
Before I knew it I was tied by my legs to the top of a tall metal stand, they didn’t even ask me if I was afraid of heights! I didn’t mind though as I got compliments from all the nurses about how handsome I was. Poor Hannah had drugs pumped into her constantly for three whole days. It was horrible to see her so tired but remembering that these drugs were going to beat the cancer. We stayed until Tuesday to make sure Hannah had no adverse effects and fortunately she was only very tired so we had lots of Willberry snuggles in bed. Hannah was super happy to go home on Tuesday. We would have two weeks at home before our next chemotherapy session on 11th June. After this we will be in hospital for three whole weeks – not fun!
During the start of Hannah’s illness Tom and Mavis had been forming a great partnership. They have had a win in the 100 at Solihull; 27 double clear and most recently at Mattingley Horse Trials they jumped a double clear in the novice however the judge didn’t see the test we saw and marked them with a 36 but they still finished 10th. Next stop for them is Nunney International in the novice.
I’ve also been working on my own social media to tell the world about my amazing friend Hannah. She loves all the support that people are giving her and it helps to keep her focussed on getting better.
Stay tuned for more news as Hannah and I try our hardest to #kickcancersbutt
Lots of love
Hannah would like to thank Charles James Foxx for the fabulous new logo of Willberry #kickingcancersbutt http://www.charlesjamesfox.com