Char­ity horse-en­tranc­ing ‘bag­pipe whis­perer’ video is a huge on­line hit

Fame: Veteran has horses fas­ci­nated by his Scot­land the Brave

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - Graeme sTra­chan gstra­chan@the­courier.co.uk

A north-east char­ity’s video has gone vi­ral af­ter a vol­un­teer en­tranced a field of horses with bag­pipes.

Horse­Back UK – which uses horse­man­ship to in­spire re­cov­ery for wounded, in­jured and sick mem­bers of the mil­i­tary com­mu­nity – posted the video of veteran and char­ity men­tor Jocky John­stone charm­ing the steeds.

The un­usual video of the ren­di­tion of Scot­land the Brave has been viewed more than a mil­lion times.

Jock Hutchi­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive and co-founder of Horse­Back UK, who served with 45 Com­mando in Ar­broath, said: “We never know what’s go­ing to catch on.

“For the last 10 years we’ve tried all sorts of things and it’s al­ways the one you don’t ex­pect to catch that seems to work.”

Us­ing bag­pipes to herd horses is a strange tac­tic but one that ap­par­ently works as the piper soon cap­ti­vates the equine group.

The Aboyne-based char­ity was sur­prised by its new fame, as it fre­quently posts videos and pho­tos to its Face­book and Twit­ter ac­counts.

And it hopes this un­ex­pected ex­po­sure will en­cour­age more peo­ple to get in­volved with the group.

Jock, who spent a decade in the Com­man­dos, said: “We have in­cluded many pic­tures and clips on these plat­forms but the pipes and the horses seem to have caught the imag­i­na­tion of the pub­lic and our hope is we can in­crease the fol­low­ing we have due to the video.”

Horse­Back UK aims to give those who are in­jured a chance to re­gain con­trol of their lives and in­ter­act with peo­ple again.

Jock added: “The rea­son for the horses is be­cause horse­man­ship is pure lead­er­ship and in learn­ing how to take own­er­ship and be­come a team with a horse, you are be­gin­ning to re­con­nect with the pos­i­tiv­ity that is of­ten stolen from peo­ple when they’ve been hurt badly.”

Horse­back UK is work­ing with an in­cen­tive called We Re­mem­ber Them to mark the end of the First World War and the for­ma­tion of the RAF 100 years ago. There are a va­ri­ety of chal­lenges and events to take part in and help raise money. For more in­for­ma­tion go to were­mem­berthem.org.uk.

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