Farewell to a huge chunk of my life – and my heart #DressageHorse

You may have noticed a couple weeks ago when I released my latest novel, that I mentioned turmoil in my life at the time. A large piece of that was that my beloved Merlin, my horse of a lifetime, my International partner, my superstar best friend for over 22 years, was gravely ill with a poor prognosis.

On Saturday he lost his final battle, and although I had plenty of time to prepare, somehow you never believe it’s really going to happen until it does.

So, I’m just going to share these pics of him, so you can all admire this little horse with the hugest of egos. He was a legend, and he knew it.

Baby Merlin, nearly 25 years ago

Then at six years old, what a smart boy!

Competing in a hailstorm (Sheepgate Premier League show)

One of his many reports in Horse and Hound, when I was still riding him for his owner, before I bought him.

At a local venue


And in Spain, competing on the Sunshine Tour, earning us the Union Jack flag

The sun was so bright in Spain he had his eyes shut!

Pas de Deux (Wellington Premier League)

In our last Grand Prix, aged 22

Giving riders the benefit of his knowledge (supervised by Frodo – they were a real team, my boys)


And showing them how to do it in competition too – at this point he was 23 years old

He was an escape artist extraordinaire, so had to be thoroughly secured in his stable

And, of course, my favourite photo – in the Grand Prix Special at Somerford Park Premier League Show at the age of 21. Right up until he fell ill, he was still performing the Grand Prix movements at home every week, and teaching new riders with his usual sense of humour, where he would do exactly what they asked him to do, which was rarely what they thought they were asking for!

He will be sorely missed, though there was no question his time had come. I’m just so grateful he was so fit and healthy up until those last few weeks. and I have a rake of fabulous memories of our amazing journey together.

RIP Holme Grove Merlin

Missing you already ❤



  1. What a lovely lad.
    I like the photo of Merlin and Frodo.
    I am sorry for your loss. Those babies lived wonderful lives due to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ichy, they are as much my family as the human members.


  2. I’m so sorry, Deborah. Those special friendships are precious. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Debby, I’m so, so sorry for your loss. He was truly beautiful and I can see (and hear) your love for him shining bright as a star! My heart goes out to you right now. You’ve lost a pet, a partner, and a friend. Just know you are being sent much love and many prayers as you go through this sad time. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marcia, I had you in my heart when you lost your little pal Potter recently – Merlin fell ill just before that happened to you. Their lives burn so bright and so damnably fast ❤


      1. Always too fast. Even though we know going in that’s the way of it, we still aren’t ready to say goodbye. And thanks for your kind words about Sir Hairy Potter. 🙂 He is much missed, too. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That was his full name? Oh how lovely ❤


  4. Aw Deb, I’m so sorry for your loss. Merlin gave you so much joy for such a long time too. You will always have the beautiful and triumphant memories. Merlin has pulled his last extraordinaire escape and now he’ll look down on you from horsey heaven. Peace, hugs and love my friend. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ Thank you, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. JAN DESTY · · Reply

    Debbie so sorry to hear about Merlin so soon after Frodo. I have a 31 year old & a 29 year old & I know their time will come, absolutely dreading it. They weren’t stars like Merlin but I love them so much. Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jan, I hope yours will go on in health for longer yet.


  6. My heart goes out to you and Merlin. What a beautiful horse! He looks so proud and competent. My sister competed with several horse, and had a very difficult time when her first died. I’ll have him help Merlin get adjusted to his next life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jacqui, I hope he’s now with all my other partners who have preceded him to the other side – there have been a few, though none who stayed around for as long as Merlin. It never gets any easier 😦


  7. […] couple of days after losing my beloved Merlin, Easter Monday offered a warm and peaceful balm to my aching soul, though I wasn’t ready to […]


  8. […] of my latest novel, THE PRINCE’S PROTEGE, it quickly nosedived when out of the blue, I lost Merlin, my horse of a lifetime, to the dreaded big […]


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