Kathryn got in touch with Willberry back in 2020 to ask for his help to make a wish come true for her. She was undergoing treatment for triple negative breast cancer but had also been battling debilitating health issues since the age of 9. This had not stopped her from pursuing a life with horses, and in recent years she had been working with horse healing and therapy. Willberry arranged for her to have some natural horsemanship sessions with Ben Hart and her young mustang, but the cancer treatment took its toll on Kathryn, and plans were put on hold until she felt well enough to enjoy her wish.
Willberry was delighted when Kathryn got back in touch with him again. Unfortunately, she had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. She was no longer riding, but said she had always wanted to learn to drive a horse and carriage, if that was something Willberry could help her with? Well, you can imagine how excited Willberry was at this request – this was a new challenge for him!
As luck would have it he found the perfect set up less than half an hour from where she lived – the wonderful Fenix Carriages and Driving Centre at Clayhidon, owned by Mark and Joanna Broadbent.
Mark started his driving career at the age of 8, and is a well-known carriage driving competitor, competing and judging internationally. He was delighted to be able to offer Kathryn some driving instruction, and to Kathryn’s great delight a date was set for her first session! She had an amazing time and although she was nervous at first, she soon became confident with the reins under Mark’s calm and relaxed tutoring.
At her next session Willberry went down to meet her and see how she was getting on – they were astounded at how confident and capable she was already, taking the horse and trap off down the lanes like an old pro!
Mark is also passionate about the restoration and conservation of old carriages, and Joanna took everyone around the fantastic museum they have there, full of the most wonderful carriages you could imagine which have all been painstakingly restored to their former glory by Mark. What a memorable experience it was!
To top off the day completely, Mark then took them all for a drive in a carriage and pair all around the fields and arena, which was an unexpected and exhilarating treat. What a day! Kathryn had a smile from ear to ear and you can see she has definitely got the driving bug – keep going Kathryn we can’t wait to see you in action again 😊
Our thanks go to Mark and Joanna Broadbent, we really appreciate the extra time and effort you put into Kathryn’s lessons with you, and we hope to work with you again in the future.