Jaqui's Daily Blog

Saying Goodbye to Shergar

Today, with more than a little sadness, I took Shergar along to his new home. I have had him such a long time and he has been much played with and fussed over but sometimes you just know that The Time Has Come.


To be honest, he is not yet in his “Forever Home” (as the adoption agencies always like to call it) but the volunteers at the Macmillan Charity Shop next to Tesco's had no doubt that a home would soon be found for him. Apparently last week they found willing adoptive parents for a lion of much the same size as dear Shergar. It bodes well for his future life.


Let me explain. Shergar is a rather large stuffed horse, of the piebald variety. I won him many years ago at a Community Fete. This is a story worth telling, I hope you will agree.  I arrived at the Fete and, having done my duty (I was kind of working but it was work of the fun type) I decided that I should probably visit the various stalls and spend a few pennies here and there.  Which is how I arrived at the stall where a couple of beaming volunteers were running a “Guess the Name of the Horse” game.


I don’t know what made me ask them but I did: who chose the horse’s name, I enquired? They explained that the choice had fallen to a couple of Police Community Support Officers.  It suddenly seemed obvious to me – what other name would two police officers choose than that of the famous racehorse Shergar, spirited away from his stable in 1983 and never seen again? With a flourish, I signed my name against “Shergar” on the sheet of possible names.  I didn’t expect to win so I didn’t look too closely at the horse in question who was standing on the trestle table with a patient look on his face.


I suppose it was inevitable that when the prize-giving took place, it was my name which was called out to claim my prize for correctly naming the horse. It was only at this moment that I realised quite how, well, large, my prize was....


Once the clearing up was done and everyone was heading for home, I tucked Shergar under one arm and set off to find my car. At this point I realised that I had forgotten exactly where I had parked.  The thing is, the fete was on a large field, surrounded on all four sides by roads. I knew I had parked on one of these four roads but couldn’t remember for the life of me which one. Picture me, dear reader, traipsing along every one of the four roads in question, with a large stuffed horse tucked awkwardly under one arm. Oh, the taunts that came my way from passers-by.




“Ride him, cowboy!”


”Who do you think you are – Calamity Jane?”


These are just a few of the kinder comments. The Daily Blog is not the place to share the ruder remarks that came my way.


The grandchildren quite liked playing with Shergar but he was never as popular as the Giant Penguin, for example.  He was difficult to ride, because his front legs started to bend inwards under the weight of various children – which meant that the riders usually ended up on the floor.  I think he was probably designed more to be decorative than useful – unlike his namesake who sired 35 foals from a single season at the stud. But, no, there was no hanky-panky going on as far as my Shergar was concerned.


Once the grandchildren lost interest in him, he took up home in the front bedroom, our “spare room”, guests for the accommodation of.


“We hope you don’t mind us asking,” many a guest would enquire, “But what’s with the horse?” What indeed? I asked myself. After a while, I stabled him instead in my wardrobe, where he toppled out on top of me every time I scrabbIed about trying to find two matching shoes and so make a pair.


This week I have been trying to tidy up a bit. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, on her most recent visit, took a long look at all the piles of books under the windowsill, the bags of “stuff” hidden behind the settee, the packets of breakfast cereal lined up on the work surface and said, gently, that a bit of de-cluttering might just be called for.  So I have dutifully found places for the books on my over-crammed book-shelves, stuffed the “stuff” somewhere out of sight where even the Y of the DDs won’t see it, and filled a couple of bags of clothes and books to take down to the charity shop.  Then my eye fell on Shergar, who had just fallen out of the wardrobe for the umpteenth time.


Bless him, he needs someone to love him properly. He deserves better than to be locked away in a wardrobe or to become a freak show for my visitors. Before I could think the better of my action, he was sitting in the back seat of the car, ready for the short drive to the charity shop.


I nearly – oh, so nearly – took him back again when Mr B loaded him onto a shopping trolley, along with the clothes and the books, to wheel to the charity shop. It was just SO undignified. So might it have been, I could not help thinking, for the real Shergar when he was smuggled away in the night, all those years ago. However I strengthened my resolve and we handed him over to the women in the back room, sorting out the treasures from the junk. I trust they will realise that Shergar is a treasure.  I  hope they put him in the window for everyone to see and marvel at. I may have to pay him a visit, each time we make a trip to Tesco’s, just to make sure he is OK.


Farewell, Shergar. I will miss you. My wardrobe will not be the same without you.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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