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Collier Row's Wellgate Community Farm to hold tea party in memory of beloved Shetland pony Dingle

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 May 2019

Dingle the shetland pony from Wellgate Community Farm who recently passed away.

Dingle the shetland pony from Wellgate Community Farm who recently passed away.

Wellgate Community Farm

"He was such a character and a big part of our lives here."

Dingle the Shetland pony. Picture: Clare RowleyDingle the Shetland pony. Picture: Clare Rowley

These are the words of trustee at Wellgate Community Farm, Collier Row Road, Collier Row, Michelle Nathan but not about a member of staff - this is about Dingle the Shetland pony.

After living at the farm since 1988 having previously stayed in someone's back garden in Marks Gate, Dingle the beloved pony sadly passed away last week at the age of 39.

Announcing the sad news on the farm's website, a spokesman said: "The time has come for us to say goodbye to Dingle the Shetland pony, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning [May 1] with staff and a vet at his side.

"Dingle was one of the earliest residents of Wellgate Community Farm and even as staff members have come and gone, he has been a constant in farm life.

Dingle at farming show in the 1990. Picture: Michelle NathanDingle at farming show in the 1990. Picture: Michelle Nathan

"Despite some long-term health issues, he had been taking his retirement in his stride to reach the ripe old age of 39, far beyond the usual life-expectancy for his breed and his success has been a testament to the love and care he's been given and has shown us all in return."

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From meeting families throughout the years, to appearing at farm shows, winning rosettes and even pulling Santa's sleigh at Christmas, Dingle has played an important role at the farm.

So much so that are being diagnosed with a brain tumour a few years ago, regular events were held to raise money for his medical bills.

In his memory, Dingle's Remembrance Tea Party will be held at the farm to raise funds for the other animals' future vet bills.

Fellow trustee Clare Rowley said: "He was a really cheeky chap, he had a big personality despite his small size.

"He's been around for so long that adult visitors remembered him from when they were kids, and he was meeting their children.

I don't think he realised he was a little Shetland pony - he had no fear in meeting big shire horses and stunt horses at the Havering town show and other fairs.

"I hope we can put this weekend's [event] towards a fitting tribute to him."

The event will run from 11am on Saturday, May 11.

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