In April this year, Sue-Ellen had to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to her gentle giant that had given her so much. She describes the massive highs and incredible lows of the two years and two days she spent with Johno as she tried in vain to find something that might help his condition.
“We were always searching for something to help beautiful Johno control his Equine Shivers; we knew we couldn’t fix it, but we hoped to make him comfortable. This wasn’t possible, so our beautiful Johno grew wings and became an angel… he watches down on me on a daily basis and I can still feel his presence and his love. The two years and two days I got to spend with this amazing horse were way too short, but I am sure Johno came into my life for a reason.”
For Sue-Ellen, the thought of a new horse was difficult to grapple with at first — but having spent a lifetime with horses, it was inevitable that eventually she would find another to continue her equestrian journey with. “In my heart I knew this was what Johno wanted me to do and this is what I needed to do to keep moving forward,” says Sue-Ellen, who took the step to begin searching for another horse.
“I had nine really lovely responses from people from the top of Queensland to the bottom of Victoria, and in between also followed up a few horses that people sent through to me that they had seen advertised. Out of the blue, a beautiful message came through from what I can only describe as an angel full of honesty and kindness… in fact I don’t have the words to describe this amazing lady.” Jacinta Ledlan had a 14-year-old black Warmblood mare that she thought might suit Sue-Ellen.
“Lola fitted the bill in every way and the main thing was she was quite sensible and had been there and done that,” says Sue-Ellen, explaining the mare had competed at royal shows, and done dressage, show jumping and eventing. “Not that I was interested in jumping mind you,” she laughs, “But it’s just one of the other amazing things that Lola can do!”
Sue-Ellen explains that Jacinta offered her the mare for the four months leading up to Equitana in July, after which she could make a decision whether to purchase her or not. “Who makes an offer like this… a Medium level horse with no strings attached to have a loan of for four months, to take to a really big gig like Equitana?”
Equitana sadly never happened due to Covid-19 restrictions, however, after four months with beautiful Lola, Sue-Ellen knew she was the right horse. “My wonderful husband Matthew has once again stepped up and bought me another spectacular horse. How very lucky am I to have such a thoughtful and generous husband; once again I will never be able to thank Matthew for what he has done for me with bringing Johno and now the beautiful Lola into my life.
“And dearest Jacinta… from the bottom of my heart thank you for your kindness and generosity. I’m so very, very grateful.”