We all know the power horses and ponies can have on our mood, bringing a smile even during the darkest of times. But one very special Shetland and his passionate owner have been raising the spirits of those so cruelly effected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia impacts over 850,000 people in the UK and cruelly effects loved ones’ memories and ability to communicate and function as they once used to.
Jack Brock is a chestnut Shetland with a beautiful flaxen mane and tail. He may be small in stature but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in his kind, inquisitive and gentle nature. Soon after purchasing Jack and his brother Little Joe, their owner Ali Stearn, soon realised that Jack was more than just a pony, he had a very special way with people. Jack started his showbiz life carrying baskets of confetti at weddings and enjoying the limelight alongside the bride and groom. It was from here that Ali got a call from a North Norfolk care home to ask if she thought Jack could come to see the residents.
Upon Jack’s first visit to a Dementia care home he was immediately at ease in the environment and even ventured into residents’ rooms, letting them stroke him and feel his soft hair – a sensory moment that brings a warmth and happiness to all who have ever had the joy of spending time with horses and ponies in their life, and even those that haven’t. From here Jack and Ali began regular visits to care homes in the region and began their first foray into fund raising for Dementia UK. Together Jack and Ali have raised a huge amount of money and in 2019 alone they raised a staggering £22,000 for Dementia UK, providing vital funding for the Admiral nurses in Norfolk. The East of England Coop recognized the enormous impact this little pony had made on the region and made Jack their ambassador to help raise awareness of the illness. Despite the challenges of 2020 Ali and Jack have arranged to visit a care home and bring joy to the residents safely from outside the windows.
Every now and then, four-legged friends come into our lives who have something extra special about them. It’s clear to see that Jack Brock was put on this earth to bring joy and happiness to so many and with the help of his owner Ali, he continues to spread love to those most in need. In a world full of uncertainty, there is nothing more certain than the warmth, hope and happiness that our horses and ponies bring us.
Ali’s talents don’t end there, she has designed and hand painted Christmas cards featuring Jack Brock and every sale is raising money for Dementia UK. You can find a link to Jack Brock’s Christmas cards and more information about Ali and Jack’s adventures here www.jackbrock.co.uk