Freddie Fox, the painted white horse who became famous for raising awareness of equine anatomy and biomechanics, died on July 15 at the age of 24.
Freddie was the original star of Horses Inside Out, founded by eventer, instructor and Equine Massage and Manipulation therapist Gillian Higgins in 2006. She realised that many people could benefit from learning more about how the horse works, and so painted Freddy to illustrate the position of equine anatomical structures.
Higgins has written several books and gives workshops and offers webinars on her work. Freddie is the main horse in the Horses Inside Out DVDs.
“Freddie was there at the very beginning of Horses Inside Out. I wonder, if he had been any other horse, if Horses Inside Out would have become what it is today,” Higgins said.
“In the early days the painting was rather primitive but Freddie was there as I improved my skills and developed my techniques always with calmness, patience and inquisitiveness.
“Freddie always loved the painting process. With him, it always felt like giving a massage but with a paint brush! It was always a very therapeutic process and both of us seemed to enter a zen-like state!”
Higgins bought Freddie Fox from his breeder as a five-year-old. They evented up to intermediate level at prestigious events including Chatsworth, Belton, Longleat, Burnham Market, Withington, Barbury Castle, Tweseldown, Hambledon and Larkhill, before Freddie retired in 2010.
“One of my most treasured memories with Freddie was winning the Novice class at Gatcombe. We particularly enjoyed the bold cross-country track and receiving the prize for the best young rider under 25 from HRH The Princess Royal,” Higgins said.
She said that Freddie had been a huge part of her learning journey, and entered her life halfway through my time at university. “He helped me gain experience with my own therapy education both with my initial massage therapy training with Mary Bromiley and the McTimoney-Corley Animal Manipulation course at the Oxford College of Equine Physical Therapy as well as every course after that. Since then he has helped so many other professional therapists on their educational journeys as he has been part of many of the CPD masterclass courses for professional therapists.”
Higgins said Freddie would be greatly missed. “Freddie, I will miss your incredible ability to search for treats in the tack room, and your ability to sneak into the hay barn while no-one notices!
“Above all, thank you Freddie Fox, for all that you have done and for just being you.”