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Jim was a Dutch-born Shire Horse whose working life took him to Germany to pull a trade carriage. A photo of a car crashed into the carriage with Jim’s expression of puzzlement (when most horses would have bolted) proved he was a mature, safe horse, perfect to start work at Hampton Court Palace some ten years ago. He was the foundation for all other horses, solid as a rock. He pulled the tram showing all young horses how it’s done.
Representing the Royal Parks, he welcomed HM The Queen, spent the summers cutting grass or rolling bracken and became world-famous maintaining the olympic rings, cut 300m wide. The games’ organisers, acknowledged this was the most popular items of their publicity. Jim became ‘Nelson’ for a day, to launch Simon Weston’s childrens’ books featuring a Shire horse and was the guest of honour at a centenary birthday celebrations at the Star and Garter home.
In semi-retirement Jim excelled at a new therapeutic role. He emotionally connected with people be they company executives or young people diagnosed with autism, Jim did what he did best: quietly observing the world, accepting things for what they are, unflappable. Jim was the prototype porcelain Shire horse, a gentle giant who leaves a big gap in our herd – and in our hearts.