A UTTOXETER woman has seen the story of how she won her beloved horse while helping a re-homing charity retold on the small screen.
Sarah Hodgkinson, of Avocet Close, appeared on Auf Wiedersehen My Pet on ITV1 yesterday after she bid for her horse Rocky from Homes 4 Horses, a charity providing help with re-homing horses the owners can no longer look after.
The 43-year-old decided she wanted to take in one of the unwanted horses after her own died but the insurance did not cover the cost of buying a new one.
After spotting Rocky on the Homes 4 Horses website, she made enquires where she was told by Shine TV that the horse was being watched for the television series.
Miss Hodgkinson said: “There were three girls who were picked to be followed for the television series.
“The original owner of Rocky has injured her back and knew what sort of person she was looking for to take her horse.
“The TV company went to visit each of the girls in turn and heard what why they wanted the horse if they were lucky enough to get it.
“They then took a video of each of the girls riding the horse. This went on for a couple of weeks and then the lady decided who would be best suited for the horse.”
The horse enthusiast has owned the animals since she was four-years-old and hopes to now start competing Rocky in dressage competitions.
However, Miss Hodgkinson, who has worked for JCB for 20 years, admitted she found it more than a little uncomfortable being in front of the camera.
She told the Post and Times: “It is so embarrassing seeing myself on television as it was shown at the start of each episode before the full show but it was all worth it when she picked me and the horse turned up in the van.
“Rocky is a lovely horse but he is quite cheeky.”
Homes 4 Horses is a charity aimed at finding a home for horses that can no longer be looked after by their current owner.
Miss Hodgkinson added: “A lot of people are struggling to look after horses for many reasons such as money being a bit tight, divorce, redundancy or the horse is not quite right for the owner.
“They all have lots of different reasons. The charity works by the people wanting a horse giving a donation.
“The person giving up the horse decides on how much they want the new owner to donate to the charity.”
Auf Wiedersehen My Pet is a 20 part series shown on Thursdays at 2pm on ITV1 and sees pet owners who for genuine personal reasons have to make the tough decision to give up their much loved animals. It then follows their journey as they find them a new home.