Bonny the Boathorse gave birth to her second foal on Friday, June 5th at about 10.00 am. The foal is a full brother to last year’s foal Mayfair Lady. Name undecided so far.

Bonny and foal are doing well despite the foal only having 6 hours dry weather before experiencing 36 hours of unseasonal cold and wet weather.

Crick Boat Show

The Horseboating Society had a good presence at Crick Boat Show. Two boats were horseboated to the show and there were WoW activities with Toy Bonny and live boathorse harnessing demos with Bilbo Baggins.

A video taken at Watford Locks for the Rugby Advertiser can be seen on this page, featuring an interview with Sue and some shots of Elland being horseboated.

A video slideshow of images from Crick Boat Show can be seen on this page, including Toy Bonny, Bilbo Baggins and Sue.

An interview with Sue was broadcast on BBC Radio Leicester. It can be heard by following the link on this page.

BW’s Chris Stanley wrote:

I wanted to thank you for all your help and support in achieving some fantastic media coverage for the Show (not forgetting The Horseboating Society).

We had a clean sweep of all media outlets and there is no doubt in my mind that this had a major positive impact on visitor numbers to the Show. They always say in the media never work with animals but on this occasion it was an absolute pleasure to work with Bilbo and you.

Please pass on my thanks to the volunteers and I look forward to working with you again in the future.

Back through Standedge

On 3rd May, Maria was legged back through Standedge Tunnel in a time of 2 hours 40 minutes. On board and helping to leg was Paul Atterbury, waterways historian and author, and vice-president of The Waterways Trust, who have been working with the Horseboating Society to promote Standedge Tunnel.

Maria leaving Standedge Tunnel, with Paul Atterbury legging. Photo: Ken Catford.

See Gallery section for more photographs.
Read Newspaper Report by Ken Bennett from Oldham Chronicle.

The following day, Maria was horsedrawn back along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to Ashton.

Journey nearing completion: Bilbo and Maria approaching Lock 8w. Photo: Alan and Anita Crosby.

Through Standedge Tunnel

Maria was legged through Standedge Tunnel in a time of 2 hours 47 minutes. On board was 90-year old former legger Ronnie Barnes.
See Gallery section for more photographs.
Read Newspaper Report by Ken Bennett from Oldham Chronicle.
The journey between Marsden and Huddersfield had to be abandoned as the canal was closed because of a leak. However, the legging back through the tunnel on May 3rd and the return to Ashton on May 4th will go ahead as planned.

Ronnie Barnes on board Maria at Diggle. Photo: Chris Sunderland.

Tug of War!

A strange event took place at the Heavy Horse Festival 2008! Prince the Boathorse was in attendance and was put his his paces even though there was no boat to pull. ITV was filming at the event so, in order to simulate the load of a boat in tow, a “tug of war” was arranged, with Prince pulling his towline with people providing the resistance! Sue Day said that a tug of war using a horse was a first for her!
Boathorse Prince takes on the humans in the “tug of war”. Photos: Maria Muntz.