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In pictures: Amber and Bear’s colourful tribute to health service workers

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Bridgnorth entertainment | Published:

This stunning tribute is the latest effort from a youngster in Bridgnorth who used her long-faced friend to help thank those on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amber Price, 8, of Bridgnorth, with her New Forest Pony, Bear, who has been painted with a thank you to the NHS using special pony paint. Photo: Peter Lopeman

Living with her own yard to horse around in has been a "saviour" throughout lockdown for Amber Price, who has been able to ride her New Forest Pony without a leading rein for the first time.

But the eight-year-old has also been getting creative in sending her message of thanks to those in the NHS, using specially-made paint to turn her pony Bear into a colourful work of art.

Amber Price, 8, of Bridgnorth, with her New Forest Pony, Bear, who has been painted with a thank you to the NHS using special pony paint. Photo: Peter Lopeman

Amber, who is a member of Wheatland Pony Club, painted a rainbow, which has been adopted as the symbol of hope and gratitude throughout the Covid-19 crisis, as well as the words "Thank You NHS" onto her pony.

She also gave Bear a multi-coloured mane and added stars to complete the creation, which has made national news.

Amber's design, which has also been submitted as a school project, has already led her friends to follow suit.

"I really liked painting Bear and will do it again," Amber said.

Amber Price, 8, of Bridgnorth, with her New Forest Pony, Bear, who has been painted with a thank you to the NHS using special pony paint. Photo: Peter Lopeman

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"One of my friends said she's going to do one on her horse too – she's got a little pony like mine.

"I've been riding for four years and love it."

Amber Price, 8, of Bridgnorth, with her New Forest Pony, Bear, who has been painted with a thank you to the NHS using special pony paint. Photo: Peter Lopeman

Amber's mother, Meria, who owns the horse tack suppliers, HBS Equestrian, said: "In the current lockdown the horses and ponies have been a bit of a saviour for us.

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"Amber's taken on her sister Chloe's pony, Bear, as her new ride and during lockdown she has learnt to ride him off the lead rein.

Amber Price, 8, of Bridgnorth, with her New Forest Pony, Bear, who has been painted with a thank you to the NHS using special pony paint. Photo: Peter Lopeman

"Chloe's grown out of him and although Amber wasn't really ready, the free time during lockdown has given her the chance to practice.

"The drawing was Amber's idea to say thanks. She bought some pony paint and has incorporated Bear into her message.

"It was a working progress and took the morning to do – but the paint is water-based so it doesn't aggravate the horses and washes off almost instantly."

Amber Price, 8, of Bridgnorth, with her New Forest Pony, Bear, who has been painted with a thank you to the NHS using special pony paint. Photo: Peter Lopeman

After Meria posted a photo of Amber with a colourful Bear online, the picture attracted the attention of photographer Peter Lopeman, before making its way into national newspapers.

Amber has also been busy helping her mother deliver supplies to stables and equestrian centres unable to collect their own goods through HBS Equestrian.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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