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Success stories King Erik – The unexpected Best Man

22nd July 2022

By Paul Boyles.

For the past several years my partner Kay had been asking if we could get a horse and in 2021, I finally gave in. We welcomed King Erik into our family on the 1st of May, a former racehorse who retired from racing due to an injury. Having never owned a horse before I took the lead from my fiancé who had ridden horses since a young age however, that was over 20 years ago.

So, at the grand old age of 46, I learned to ride. King Erik, known as Erik at home, is very placid and was very patient with me. I am astounded at some of the things that he does. For example, I tacked him up one day and I hadn't quite done it right. I mounted and he wouldn't move. When I say he wouldn't move, he wouldn't go anywhere. I dismounted to check him over and noticed a problem with his girth. I quickly rectified it, and he walked out when I mounted again. On another occasion, my wife and I were walking back through the field when a few horses came stampeding towards us, Erik turned lengthways to shield us from the horses. We are convinced that this was to protect us.

I never realised the bond that you get with a horse and I decided that King Erik was to be my best man. For 8 months prior to the wedding, myself and a friend Stephanie Marshall prepared Erik to carry the rings down the aisle.

When the day came on Saturday 28th of May, Erik was my best man. Unknown to the bride and all the guests, King Erik, ridden by Stephanie walked up the aisle to deliver the rings with a grand entrance to the music of Black Beauty. It was a complete surprise and quite spectacular to see a 17"2 hh former racehorse proudly walk down the aisle between 95 guests and all the chairs. He then stood for photos for around 90 minutes and didn't miss a beat, including being the centre of a photo where all 95 guests were around him.

Erik is amazing and is very much a part of our family, he has given us so many happy memories and I cannot speak highly enough about this special boy. The moral of Erik’s story is, just because someone can't do a role because of injury, with the right training, belief and love, you can always do something else.

King Erik is one in a million and we were so lucky to find him.

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