Newlyweds Paul Boyles and Kay Clark took the unusual step of inviting their ‘best man’ on honeymoon with them to Mid Wales following their wedding in May.
Rather than playing gooseberry, as you might expect, the best man was very much part of the wedding and the honeymoon. After all, he was the happy couple’s beloved …. horse!
King Erik, a 17.2hh former racehorse, took guests by surprise when he walked down the aisle to deliver the wedding rings attached to his saddle.
When Paul came up with the idea of having Erik at the wedding, he enlisted the help of a friend, Stephanie Marshall. Erik, with Stephanie in the saddle, arrived at the outdoor wedding venue to the Black Beauty theme.
“I decided not to have an official best man, but no one knew,” Paul told Horse & Hound magazine. “When I was asked for the rings, I fumbled around, pretended I’d forgotten them and then turned round to say: ‘Please welcome my best man’ and Erik made his entrance.
“He walked up the aisle and brought the rings, in a little treat bag on the saddle, then stood there while we finished the service and walked down the aisle behind us.”
When it came to the best man’s speech, Paul arranged a “live video link” to the yard, where Erik was back in his field. He played recordings of him whinnying, to cheers from the guests.
Paul and Kay then headed off for a hacking honeymoon at Brandy House Farm, a tourism and equine holidays business at Felindre, near Knighton, with Erik and another horse borrowed from a friend.
“We did 11 days of hacking and it was absolutely amazing,” said Paul. “Brandy House Farm was the most perfect location and venue for our honeymoon. Miles and miles of hacking from the doorstep and second to none facilities for the horses.”
Medina Brock, who runs Brandy House Farm with her husband, Richard, said they were delighted to host the honeymoon for the happy couple and their horses.
“We loved meeting King Eric who has become quite the celebrity and was taking his fame all in his stride,” she said. “Of course, it was lovely to meet Paul and Kay too and we were delighted that they chose Brandy House Farm to spend their honeymoon and to enjoy some of the riding this beautiful part of Mid-Wales has to offer.”