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, will go 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.
At the end of 2015 we invested in a couple of lovely Eriskay ponies, Max and Percy. 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.
Being fortunate to have a spacious farm with plenty of acres for the animals to exercise, Nell was keen to rehome some dogs. She wanted to provide them with an opportunity to experience proper country living surrounded by love, as well as having the ability to interact with other animals. Since 2014 we have rehomed four dogs.
Our shows have included various feathered friends - doves, a turkey and chickens. The chickens took a starring role in the 2017 show Any Port in a Storm. Trained by a wonderful team at Amazing Animals they caused havoc throughout the show. Hear more about the chicken training on the BBC World Service How to Create a Circus Production here.