Horsing around for the jubilee...

Pictured is Emily Johnson (9) on TJ, with Jessica (6) and Sam (10) Anders and Kathryn Anders
Pictured is Emily Johnson (9) on TJ, with Jessica (6) and Sam (10) Anders and Kathryn Anders

THE Queen’s Jubilee was a day that inspired thousands of events across the borough but none quite as unusual as the celebrations at a Wigan horse riding school.

Abram Hall Riding School held a show jumping class with a difference. The difference being that all the horses were in fancy dress!

And as the special event got under way the Warrington Road school was consumed by a sea of red white and blue.

Owner of the school Jennifer Crawford wanted to celebrate the historic occasion in a memorable way and so came up with the idea of holding the fancy dress competition.

The previous week when the Olympic Torch passed through Abram she and her grandchildren dressed up two horses and took them to the roadside to cheer on the torchbearers.

And the idea for the Jubilee dress competition developed from there.

She said: “I wanted to do something different and special for the Diamond Jubilee and thought that fancy dress would be a great idea.

“We ran the ordinary show jumping class that we hold every two weeks, but put a twist on it by asking people to dress their horses up and I was delighted by people’s response.

“Everybody was really impressed with the day and it showed just how strong the patriotic spirit of the local people is.”

And despite the effort made by all 12 youngsters who entered the competition there was one clear winner, Emily Johnson, whose effort was recognised with a sash, trophy and a rosette.

The nine-year-old did not overlook a single element when dressing her horse, TJ, who was laden with Union Jack flags, bunting and even Union Jack party plates, which were stuck all over its blanket for an added impact.

Jennifer said: “Emily really stood out in the crowd and I was really impressed to see how much effort she and her mum had put in when dressing TJ.

She added: “It was a really wonderful day and it was such a success that we’re looking into doing something special again for the Olympics.”