British actress Eleanor Tomlinson — who plays leading lady Demelza Poldark in the popular Cornwall-based series Poldark — has paid tribute to the horse she rides in the show, and to other working animals.
Often seen galloping on her trusty horse across the backdrop of Cornwall’s beautiful scenery, Tomlinson is lending her support to working animal charity Spana and highlighting the importance of these animals, both in the past and in the present day.
“Although she doesn’t have any lines, Demelza’s horse – whose real name is Amy – is a central character in the series. In most episodes she can be seen galloping along the Cornish clifftops and beaches, helping Demelza to get around in a hurry and keep Ross out of trouble,” Tomlinson said.
“For centuries, horses provided the main form of transport in Britain. In the past, we were almost entirely dependent on these working horses in our daily lives and their ‘horsepower’ was the driving force of mining, agriculture and even warfare.
“We no longer rely on animals as a source of power and they have now been replaced by cars, buses, tractors and trains. But, horses, donkeys and other working animals continue to have a vital role in developing countries around the world today.
“By transporting people, water and goods, they make it possible for millions of the world’s poorest families to earn a small income and put food on the table. Without their working animals, many people would have nothing, and would struggle to survive,” Tomlinson said.
Spana works in 26 developing countries worldwide to improve the lives of working animals. The charity provides free veterinary care to sick and injured animals, as well as improving animal welfare by training animal owners in local communities and providing humane education to schoolchildren.
As the fifth and final series of Poldark kicks off, many viewers will be eager to see how Demelza’s horse, Amy, plays a crucial part – just as working animals overseas continue to have a vital role supporting the world’s poorest people in their story of survival.