Bob Hood fits the bridle to
Bob Hood fits the bridle to "Ibbo" - the horse statute at the Lawrence Museum

A long journey to give new life to Lawrence horse

FOR his entire 85 years Bob Hood has worked with horses, and he drove more than 700km to make sure a very special one in Lawrence will continue to live on.

When the Camden man heard from his sister-in-law, Kath Trim of Lawrence, that Lawrence Museum was looking for a harness for their horse and sulky, Bob knew he could help.

With a boot load of horse harnesses Bob, his daughter and son-in-law drove almost 700km from Camden to Lawrence to personally deliver and fit the harness.

The Lawrence Historical Society has restored a 1900s sulky, which was donated by the late Coral Ensbey, and believed to belong to the Want family prior to this. One of the society’s members, John Ibbotson, kindly donated a fibre glass horse to go with the sulky several months ago, and the society has been searching for a harness ever since.

The restored sulky on display at the Lawrence Museum
The restored sulky on display at the Lawrence Museum

Roz Jones, vice president of the Lawrence Historical Society, said she was quite overwhelmed by Bob’s gesture.

“We are often surprised by people’s generosity and donations, but it was quite special for Bob to come all this way to donate and fit the harness for us,” she said.

“Our horse, Ibbo, is quite large, luckily Bob brought Shire horse size harnesses.”

Mr Hood wasted no time in fitting the harness, and demonstrating his skills, while explaining his passion for the shire horse.

“The Shire horse is a big, strong horse, with a good temperament, and will work all day long for you,” he said.

“Once they learn what you want, they are quite capable of working without instruction.”

Mr Hood has lived and worked with horses all of his life. He started with Shetland ponies and around fifty years ago developed a passion for Shire horses. So much so, he won many awards at the Sydney Royal Easter Show exhibiting his Shire horses. Bob has won Best Stallion, Best Mare and Best Exhibit of the Show and from there moved to judging.

Mr Hood said he was keen to see the new developments at the Lawrence Museum, and looking forward to seeing the horse and sulky on display in the future as a feature in the main display room.