This week, Willowbank lost one of it’s long time residents and favourites, Bess, the 23 year old Clydesdale horse. On Tuesday morning staff were saddened to find that ‘Bess’ had died peacefully in her paddock overnight. Bess had been at Willowbank since 1999 (having come to us from a farm in Omarama), and was at least 10 years old on arrival.
Previous owners considered her to be unruly and temperamental – however she was quite the opposite on arrival at Willowbank. Bess became known for ‘playing to a crowd’ – often banging her hooves on her feed box to let you know that she wanted the animal food in your hand.
Bess was a favourite with all visitors and one of the most photographed animals in the Park. Bess was a big horse with a big personality and staff will take some time to get over her loss. We know many of our park visitors will have fond memories of her.