Watch out, Gatcombe – here comes Wallace the mule!

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Wallace the Great and Christie Mclean.
Wallace the Great and Christie Mclean.

Dressage mule Wallace the Great is one of the leading attractions at this year’s Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, with the unlikely hero showing in the main arena for the Dressage Display.

Wallace and his rider Christie Mclean first rose to fame after winning their first ever British Dressage affiliated competition. Mclean was originally told that they could not compete because Wallace was a mule but he is now fully registered with British Dressage.

This true rags-to-riches story began when Wallace was found wandering the streets, after being abandoned in a small town in County Antrim, Ireland. His early history is unknown, but locals took pity on him and started to leave hay in a bus shelter for him. Thankfully, Wallace was picked up by a local rescue centre and was handed over to the Donkey Sanctuary who moved him to their headquarters in Sidmouth, Devon.

Wallace the Great and Christie Mclean.
Wallace the Great and Christie Mclean. © Christie Mclean

Wallace was later loaned to Lesley Radcliffe, a ‘guardian angel’ to Wallace and other donkeys before Christie Mclean took over the ride. The pair scored 67.4% in their first British Dressage competition at Summerhouse Equestrian Centre, Gloucestershire and received some good feedback from the judges.

The Dressage to Music display will be held in the Main Arena on both Saturday and Sunday and has ponies and horses of various levels performing a range of different movements. The finale will be a complete Dressage to Music display at the very top level – the Grand Prix.

British Horse Society Desi Dillingham said: “We are thrilled that Wallace is able to compete within British Dressage and it is wonderful that he is playing a part in our Dressage to Music Display at The Festival, we can’t wait. We also hope that he might participate in a few selfies for his fans so watch this space!”

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