website of Doug Joiner,
Childer Wood Heavy Horses
Ella the young. Well, we all were once.
Ella the photogenic. A photograph taken on the Stiperstones NNR which became the picture on my business card and Ella's introduction to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Ella the nominated driver. On a Mid Wales overland trek, coming down the hill into Knighton and then up the hill in the distance following Offa's Dyke to Newcastle on Clun. We slept very well that night by the Kerry Ridgeway in a triangular wood called 'Square Plantation'.
Ella the agile. Clearing a drainage ditch in the timber arch with a sizeable poplar saw log.
Ella the powerful. Ground Skidding an oak log twice her body weight, accompanied by much noise!
Ella the leader. With Jacob on contract in the big forwarder with powered grapple loading. Working in the Wyre Forest pulling out good loads of oak saw logs uphill.
Ella the mediaevelist. Pulling a 'perrier', a siege machine, into attack position.
Ella the elegant. All dressed and plenty of places to go.
Ella the Royalist. Her 'finest hour' delivering the Clarence House Christmas tree in 2010. The tree had travelled from Herefordshire in deep snow and was horse drawn on the 6 wheel Combi Forwarder fom the Royal Mews, down Buckingham Gate, past the Duchy of Cornwall head office, across the front of Buckingham Palace, down the Mall and into Clarence House. She is seen here, about to be stopped for speeding, coming down the Mall with Buckingham Palace in the background.
Ella the Respectful. With Frankie driving, taking Wendy to Shrewsbury Crematorium. One of Ella's last jobs.
On 6th March 2014 we found Ella 'cast', lying flat and unable to get up. She appeared to have been down for quite a bit of the night. After many attempts to get her up again, I finally had no alternative but to ask the vet to put her down. She had reached the very grand age of 26 and having spent 22 of those years with me, it was a very painful decision but the only possible one in the circumstances. The vet made her death as peaceful and quiet as I could hope for. I will miss her.
Amongst her many achievements, putting up with me for ever, taking a Christmas tree to Clarence House and being the very best and most skilled work companion I could wish for, I believe she played a very big part in persuading HRH The Prince of Wales to become the Patron of the BHL in 2004 and subsequently Patron of the BHLCT and the BFotWH. I remember the summons (she was never big on invitations) from Elizabeth Buchanan, HRH's Private Secretary at the time, "Come to the rear gate of Powys Castle and bring the grey".
For more of the story, in French, take a look at Jean-Leo Dugast's excellent Blogspot Jean-Leo is a renowned French photographer specialising in wonderful pictures of working horses, especially Percherons. He got to know Ella very well over the years.
to contact Doug Joiner:
by phone or fax: (+44) 01531 640 236 or on his mobile: (+44) 07773 900 751
or by post: Heavy Horses, Hill Farm, Stanley Hill, Bosbury, LEDBURY, HR8 1HE