Wed, 25 Apr 2018
MEET Monty, the carrot-loving heavy horse.
He has become something of a celebrity in Kintbury after developing a taste for free fruit and veg from The Corner Stores in the High Street.
Monty pulls the narrowboats along the canal in the village for the Kennet Horse Boat Company.
Each day, after finishing work, he is taken back through the village to his field.
But one day the owners of the stores, Jay and Anita Mungur, fed him a carrot.
From that day on, Monty would stop outside the shop and refuse to go any further until he had a treat.
One regular customer at the store, Arabella Christian, said: “He and his heavyhorse colleague Drummer, have become celebrities in the village and when neighbours and children hear them coming, they all come to watch them get their fruit and veg.
“The only way the owners can get them to move on is to allow them to get their daily fruit or veg from the shop.
“I’ve watched it myself as Monty will position himself right outside the shop door.
“The owners drop everything they’re doing and rush out to feed the horses and it’s clear they’ve developed a bit of a bond with each other.”
She added: “Sundays are a bit of a problem because the shop is shut.
“So, to avoid disappointment, the owner of the horses has to fill his pockets with fruit to give them outside the shop.
“Everything in Kintbury stops for Monty and Drummer.”
But you can have too much of a good thing.
Recently, Monty apparently felt he was not getting enough treats and so helped himself to a piece of fruit from the outside display of another shop.
But it was a lemon.
Mrs Christian said: “The lady from the shop said it was hilarious because he tried to spit it out while making faces.
“He clearly found it absolutely disgusting.”
Monty and Drummer belong to Stephen Butler, who runs the Kennet Horse Boat Company with his wife Charlotte.
The company offers horse-drawn trips on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
The Butlers say adults and children alike love the cross-Shire horses who they describe as “the pride and symbol of our business”.
Monty is a Welsh Cob Shire Cross and has been with the Butlers since 2012
Drummer, who joined them in 2016, is a young Clydesdale Cobb Cross.