'His gentle and loving nature captured the hearts of thousands': Acton Scott farm announces death of beloved Shire horse Charlie
A beloved Shire horse described as the "star attraction" at Acton Scott historic working farm has died.
Charlie had made quite the name for himself in his decade at Acton Scott, near Church Stretton, where he worked on the fields and gave cart rides to visitors until his phased retirement last year.
"He was a valuable member of our team here at Acton Scott for over 10 years and he will be sorely missed," said a spokesperson for the tourist attraction.
"Charlie was our star attraction here since he arrived at the museum.
"His gentle and loving nature captured the hearts of thousands of visitors and many people had their first experiences of horses with Charlie.
"He was groomed daily and regularly either had children sitting on his back or pulled a cart full of happy and smiling families, both of which he clearly enjoyed."
Charlie worked alongside his companion Joe, but as the pair approached retirement Acton Scott launched a fundraising campaign to bring in two new horses.
'Once in a lifetime horse'
In April 2019 new arrivals William and Alfie arrived to take on Charlie's workload and allow him to put his hooves up after years as a working horse.
The Acton Scott spokesperson said: "For many years Charlie did all the solo horse work on the farm from cart rides, to muck spreading and worked side by side with Joe for the heavier work, teaching Joe the ropes as he went.
"Over the last two years we had been gradually reducing Charlie’s work load recognising the fact that he was getting older and his back legs had become stiff.
"He has been in good health over the winter and was out in the fields with his friends the day before he died.
"Simon and Jak who look after all our equines here at Acton Scott regularly described Charlie as a ‘once in a lifetime horse'."
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council's cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “Charlie was so loved by staff and visitors alike and will be missed by us all, particularly by Simon and Jak who cared for him on a day-to-day basis.
“I will always think of Charlie when I visit, we will no longer hear his hooves on the cobbles but he will always be there in our hearts.”