Pony rescue leads to career success

Lisa Walker with her Shetland ponies Marley and Smurf. GM017798
Lisa Walker with her Shetland ponies Marley and Smurf. GM017798

A mum-of-two had no idea that when her dad helped rescue a runaway pony nearly 20 years ago it would lead to a full-time business opportunity and place her in the regional final to find the UK’s top children’s party company.

In 1994, Davey Collins helped police rescue a young pony from the A1 after it was seen running around beside Washington service station, narrowly missing cars.

Fourteen years later, the very same pony, named Smurf, inspired Lisa Walker to set up Mini Pony Hire, a Cambois-based pony and trap hire entertainment business.

Smurf and fellow pony Marley can be hired for public events, private parties, schools, care homes, promotions, educational sessions, enrichment programmes and charity appearances.

Lisa, 37, lives in South View, Cambois, with her husband Mark, 33, and children Alex, 14, and Grant, 15.

She said: “I have moved counties, got married and had my kids, and Smurf has been there through it all, so when I say we are a family business I mean a real family business.

“Smurf has been part of my family since the moment we met and he was all scared and scruffy.”

The family are now celebrating after they beat off hundreds of other local businesses for the chance to be crowned the north east’s top children’s party company in a competition run by the UK’s largest parenting site, Netmums.com

Lisa said: “We’re a small, local family business so to be in with a chance to win a top national award is fantastic.

“The ponies and I work very hard to provide the best memories for children at their parties so I’d like to ask all the local mums and dads to get behind us, vote for us and make us the north east winner.”

To vote for Mini Pony Hire, click on the ‘Vote’ button on the Netmums Party Awards section.

Voting closes on Friday, August 23.