Hadleigh: Dougie the “gentle giant with a massive heart” dies in his field

Dougie pictured by Zoe Talbot of ZLT Photography

Dougie pictured by Zoe Talbot of ZLT Photography - Credit: Archant

A gentle giant with a “massive heart” has died in his field after a fond farewell from his favourite mares.

Dougie, the 23-year-old shire-cross, had been the centre of a valiant rescue on Saturday when he was found on the floor of his Hadleigh stables unable to stand.

Although firefighters were able to winch him to his feet, despite fears that it was already too late, this morning, Dougie fell to the floor once more and this time he didn’t make it up.

Christine Brindle, Dougie’s heart-broken handler, said he went “peacefully and with great dignity”.

“Two days ago, he was not ready, today he was,” she said.

In the hours following his death, Christine has been inundated with messages of condolence from the many who knew the popular horse.

“He was incredibly well loved,” she said.

Most Read

“He was such a gentle giant, he had this massive heart and he also had such a strong character.

“He was always the big man, the head of the herd but he was never vicious about it.

“All of the others respected him.”

Dougie was found lying on the floor of the Hadleigh field which he had shared with his “harem of mares” since retiring from the local riding school in 2005.

“Lucy, one of the mares, came over and was nuzzling at his face, he was lying on the floor and they all had to say goodbye,” said Christine.

“He was a big boy but he was always such a gentleman to his ladies.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter