The bored staff at a plush country estate in England have beaten their lockdown boredom by "marrying' a pair of horses.
Equine couple Lewis and Fern tied the knot after appearing to grow close during the coronavirus pandemic. Handlers said their relationship had blossomed into "genuine love," and it was the right time for the duo to wed.
The horses got hitched on the grounds of Orchardleigh, a 19th century stately home located near Frome, Somerset. The ceremony took place in a romantic spot once the pair had been groomed to look their best — and after Lewis "proposed" with a mint.
A tailored three-course meal was served before the newlyweds were led off for a celebratory swim. The couple then headed back to their marital suite for the evening: a stable filled with extra hay.
The zany idea was thought up by Chris and Heather Vincent, owners of the estate.
"With the necessities of social distancing meaning fewer people having to look after more horses, Lewis and Fern have spent more time together than usual," Heather said.
"During the past couple of weeks, they’ve since started showing real signs of affection for each other. As Fern isn’t in heat at the moment, we can’t put it down to lust! So consequently, we think it’s genuine love — and that gave us an idea," she said. "I remarked to Chris: 'Wouldn’t it be funny if they got married, considering there’s no weddings going on?'"
Before they both knew it, Chris and Heather were planning the big day.
Chris and Healther had even planned a fancy equine banquet that consisted of dishes of La Canape Carrots with Pony Nut Souffle, Hay Wellington and Apple Crunch and Crushed Polo Mints.
"Staging an equine wedding might sound a bit mad, but, given we’re in lockdown, nothing seems normal anymore," said Chris, who noted that the venue usually serves as a space for human weddings.
"Missing hosting actual weddings, we thought we’d do something that evoked all the sentiments of a wedding but keeping firmly within social distancing guidelines, while helping to spread a little light relief," he said.
Orchardleigh is set within 500 acres of private parkland and lakes. It also boasts a romantic island church, secluded boat house, private helipad, 18-hole golf course and even a castle complete with an outdoor hot tub.