Father Christmas paid an early visit to the Cuckoo Riding Centre in Wittersham, just before Christmas day.
Arriving through the woods on horseback along with his elf helper (the reindeer were being rested before their round-the-world trip two days later, and was Santa looking just a little nervous on his unaccustomed transport?), he surprised children at the stable’s annual Christmas pony party with many of them, as our picture shows, dressed for the part.
The children had previously been riding the Centre’s ponies in the indoor arena and out in the woods before the party, under the guidance of owner Gaynor Lawrence and her assistants, and the visit was a reward for all the hard work the children had put in riding and looking after the animals during the year.
Cuckoo Riding Centre runs classes for children from the age of three upwards every Saturday from 10am until 12noon. Adults are also catered for at other times (although they might not qualify for a visit from Santa) with larger ponies and horses also being available for them.
Gaynor can be contacted via the Cuckoo Riding Centre website or by phone 01797 270371
Photos: Hazel Fulker