Horses

 

A world without horses is no world for our circus.

We try to ensure that the horses in our show have a good balance between work and rest, and that at some point in the year they get to go out in the lovely rolling fields of Fennells Farm and be horses. This means that they do not come in, they do not have rugs on but live out in the wild. They grow thick oily coats and live in little herds. For example having done a few good seasons work Full House, our Shire horse, is now out in the valley with his brother High Card.

All the horses, whether they are in work or not, are visited several times a year by the equine dentist, farrier, nutritionist and chiropractor, and are regularly wormed. This the base line of their care, although there are other consultants who input into their health, for example our wonderful vet, Tim Beauregard, our saddle fitter Kay Humphries and outside trainer Lotte Seal.

Everyone Has New Homes!

JIM - 13 year old pure bred Friesian stallion, currently doing his third tour with Giffords Circus. High school trained, good to do in all ways.  Available w/c 25 September SOLD

JACK - 13 year old Andalusian grey gelding, currently doing his third tour with Giffords Circus. High school trained, good to do in all ways.  Would suit a dressage home / general riding. Available w/c 25 September SOLD

PLUTO - 4 year old Welsh section C bay gelding, broken with basic Liberty work established. Available immediately SOLD

COMET - 7 year old Welsh section C bay gelding. Available immediately SOLD

TOFFEE - 8 year old chestnut Shetland gelding. Good to do in every way, has been ridden by children & currently starring in 2017 show. Available w/c 25 September SOLD

Our Horses

Our horses are given hay and some corn but are basically living like wild horses. They may even be out like this for up to a year as we move and rotate the horses in the shows. My first horse, Eclipse, is on permanent retirement and lives with a brood mare called Pearl, as a companion to her as she has her foals. I don't believe in putting winter rugs on these horses as I think it can interfere with their natural thermostat that is reset by these rest periods out in the wild. Rugs can also be quite dangerous as horses can get tangled up in them.

At the end of 2015 we invested in a couple of lovely Eriskay ponies, Max and Percy. There are now on their second tour with the circus and taking centre stage in the ring with our Hungarian csikos rider Attila Csilo.

Eriskay ponies are a rare breed and now endangered so we are delighted that we are able to give them a home on the farm. Eriskays are renowned for being honest and intelligent with a pronounced level of confidence and affinity with humans, so they will fit right in.

 
 

Poultry

 

The chickens are taking a starring role in this year's show Any Port in a Storm. Trained by a wonderful team at Amazing Animals they are causing havoc throughout the show. Hear more about the chicken training on the BBC World Service How to Create a Circus Production here.

The Wild West extravaganza was opened by a highly skilled chicken brought to us by Amazing Animals. The rooster has gone home to Chipping Norton with puffed up feathers at her starring role.

We had a Bison led cart, the Eriskay pack-ponies Max and Percy and the audience favourites terriers Griffin and Hades.  Everyone is enjoying the space and freedom that Fennells Farm gives one and all.

Jerry the donkey made a welcome comeback as the Sheriff's trusted 'horse' Silver Bullet. Although known to be stubborn by nature, he worked well under the supervision of the horse department and enjoyed his turn in the ring. On the run from the Sheriff was the notorious El Gifford and Giffords Circus' very own black beauty Jim. 

Dandi, Cartouchio & Jack - our Spanish horses - transformed themselves in true western style. Dangerous Dan Fortt rode Dandi expertly through the ring of fire. The line-dancing pair, Jack and Cartuchio did the Dosey Doe taking Dan and Dany through their paces. 

 

Having won the hearts of the audience in 2014, Hades and Griffin returned in our 2015 show as ‘The Moon Dogs’. They continue to be firm favourites around the farm and although not appearing in this year's show they are enjoying life on tour with the circus and the stables team.

Cartuchio and Dandi - In October 2014 Nell met with our head trainer Dany Cesar in Barcelona to search for some new horses for the upcoming show Moon Songs. Nell wanted to explore the possibility of finding some rare Cremello or Albino Andulscian horses. They have blue eyes and a luminous cream coat, perfect for a moon show. Working with Tarma from Spanish Horses UK, Nell found what she was looking for in Barcelona, in Cartuchio and Dandi. Jack is a charismatic horse that enjoys performing in the show and being centre of attention. 

Longhope - A few years ago Toti and Nell bought a little bay gelding. They called him Longhope. He had been a little overlooked in the yard where he was living, having not seen a farrier or dentist for some time. His old owner got in contact with Nell and he turned out to be a well-bred show pony by a successful show pony stallion called Ainsty Musical Dream. He appeared in the show ridden by the bear. He has proved to be very calm in the ring, is not at all alarmed by the bear and seems to quite enjoy Toti and Nell teaching the dogs to ride him and lead him .He is about 13.1 and looks like a miniature racehorse. 

 

Jim is a Friesian Stallion whose full name is Tsijimke.  People think that Stallions are uncontrollable beasts but you would be wrong with Jim.  He used to pull funeral carriages before he came to join us in April 2015.  He settled in well and has enjoyed his time in the ring.

 

The act that we trained last year with all the spotted animals has been disbanded, and new homes found for all the animals.

 

Domino and Tarquin have gone to loving family homes, where they will spend the rest of their lives as much adored pets.

Smartie and Stripe - the spotty horses including little Herman - have all gone to the same yards so they are still together.