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Once Marley turned 4 and received his insurance and licences he began his training and started going to village fairs, school open days, children’s birthday parties and the odd local event.
Within a few years he was also being hired to attend weddings, parades, educational summer school programmes, hotel fun days and theatre shows.
Marley met lots of local and national celebrities and appeared in the press for his work and his charitable efforts….he even walked 7.5 mile to raise money for his friends at our local care home, with sponsorship from as far away as Australia!
After dressing up for nativity events as a ‘Donkey’ and as a ‘Unicorn’ for parties he was made into a ‘SuperShetland’ to raise money for MetroRadio’s Cash for Kids Charity.
He has starred in panto, cabaret and now also works as a pony re enactor at various museums in the area…showing children how ponies worked hard at the railways, in the mines and even how they pulled chariots in roman times.
He is a regular at Beamish Museum where he wears actual pit harness that was used down the mine and has been involved in their Dementia Friends programme to provide reminiscence activities. His work at Beamish is very varied….he hauls coal tubs to show how the pit ponies would have worked; he uses an agricultural tip cart to deliver coal to the cottages and school, he pulls wagons on the railway, has chain harrowed the fields and even cut the grass with a pony drawn lawnmower! He also takes part in their historical parades and accompanies ex miners with their banners and brass bands!!
This festive season sees Marley taking Cinderella to the ball 63 times for Blue Genie Entertainment at Whitley Bay Playhouse…..even though Panto ponies are usually white he has been chosen as he is so well known in the local area and has a good reputation for being well behaved.
One of his most exciting jobs was travelling to the Emmerdale set to give trap rides to the cast and crew’s children at their annual family day. Another was being filmed for Sky Tv’s At the Races where he helped predict the winners of each World Cup game!!
All of his achievements are amazing considering he has had colic surgery TWICE at Dick Vets, Edinburgh….all surgeons and nurses have commented on his strength of character, resilience and impeccable behaviour throughout his ordeal both times…..it just goes to prove that the Shetland Spirit and versatility is unstoppable – our boy swaps from Pit Pony to Panto Star without even blinking and shows no signs of the two occasions when he was at death’s door!"
-as a working pit pony at Beamish Museum, where he was delivering coal from the drift mine to the colliery cottages.
- on the set of Emmerdale where he was giving children trap rides
- from the press call for Blue Genie Entertainment's production of Cinderella at Whitley Bay Playhouse
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