A Horse Called Pigeon

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About Us


Registered Name: Ashvale Irish Charm

Breed: Irish Sport Horse

Age: 15 years old

Birthday: 1st May 1998

Height: 16 hands

Likes: Apples, carrots, mints, brown suger cubes, olive bread (really - she loves the stuff), rolling in mud, being in the field, other horses when she is in the field, being the boss of the herd, galloping, jumping.

Dislikes: Chili, white suger cubes, being caught in the field sometimes, being alone in the field, other horses when led or ridden.

Biography: Pigeon was bought to England from the Republic of Ireland as a five year old having trained to show jump. I met her in November 2009 and fell in love with her pretty face and sometimes cheeky nature. She has since dicovered a love of cross country and has proved to be very bold and brave!

Interesting Fact: Pigeon has only had three jumping refusals in competitions in nearly four years (and two of them were rider errors)!


Registered (Married) Name: Alex Eccles

Breed: Human (most days at least)

Age: 35 years old

Birthday: 11th February 1978

Height: 5'6"

Likes: My long suffering husband, chili, cheese, wine, gadgets, galloping, jumping, dressage schooling

Dislikes: Having to work for a living, onions, Pigeon not being caught in the field sometimes, competitive dressage

Biography: I started riding as an 8 year old and was lucky enough to have a cute piebald pony called Bianca until I got too tall for her. We then upgraded to the cheeky thoroughbred chestnut mare, Amber! As I hit my teenage years I, like many others, became more interested in boys and so Amber was sold. I then had 15 years off horses while I finished my education - taking a BA degree in Classics and Philosophy at The Queens' University (Belfast), followed by a master’s degree in Archaeology (specialising in Mesopotamian art) at the University of Cambridge. I got back into riding when a work friend in Oxford mentioned she had started riding again... 6 months later we had bought Pigeon and both competed BE90 level events that summer! My friend has since gone insane and bought a five year old ex-race horse and I have Pigeon all to myself :-) 

Interesting Fact: For the last ten years my husband and I have lived on a Narrowboat on the Oxford Canal.