Horse & Hound

Dave the wonder horse

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IT was love at first sight for Sam Empson-Pawley and Little Dave, the 21-year-old Czech warmblood whom she first met 10 years ago on a visit to Bushy Park, where her friend Charlotte Dyson works for the City of London Police training the horses.

“He caught my eye and I remember saying he was nice – from then I always asked after him,” says Sam. “When Charlotte told me he was coming up for retirement I knew I had to have him.”

Since Little Dave arrived in May 2019, the pair have enjoyed hacking and jumping as well as success in the show ring, being crowned “Best Veteran” at Gransden (pictured, right) and placing third at the National Veteran Championsh­ips. “He’s amazing for his age; his hearing and eyesight are incredible and he’s sound as a pound,” says Sam. “He’s such a character and sometimes I wonder how he was ever a police horse as he can snort and spook. My husband and I pinch ourselves every day to have such a wonder horse in our lives.”

Little Dave has his own social media accounts that share his exploits – he enjoys rearrangin­g things around the yard, eating bananas and drinking tea – as well as his adventures with his best friends Gizmo the cat and dogs Sprocket and Tubbs.

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