Blackpool patient at Trinity Hospice who was a former landau driver on the Promenade gets special visit from his horse

An animal-loving patient at Trinity Hospice had a surprise visit from his beloved horse and pet dog and it was ‘smiles all around’.
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Jimmy Smith, 76, has worked with horses all his life, and so family and staff did ‘everything possible’ to reunite them.

So they arranged for five-year-old Lola to meet Jimmy in the hospice gardens, on Friday (Nov 18).

Jimmy’s son, Jack, organised Lola’s visit.

Jimmy, a patient at Trinity Hospice, had a surprise visit from his horse, Lola.Jimmy, a patient at Trinity Hospice, had a surprise visit from his horse, Lola.
Jimmy, a patient at Trinity Hospice, had a surprise visit from his horse, Lola.
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He said: “With dad being in the hospice, we just thought it would be nice if he could spend some time with Lola. It’s too cold for him to go to her, so we asked if we could bring her into the hospice. They agreed and did everything they possibly could to make it happen.”

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Jimmy and his family have owned stables on Jubilee Lane, Blackpool, for more than 30 years, and at one point owned 27 horses.

Until five months ago he was working as a care assistant, but had spent most of his life working with horses, including many years breeding them and caring for fouls before they went into work.

Jimmy, a patient at Trinity Hospice, had a visit from his horse Lola.Jimmy, a patient at Trinity Hospice, had a visit from his horse Lola.
Jimmy, a patient at Trinity Hospice, had a visit from his horse Lola.

He also worked as a landau driver, riding along Blackpool Promenade, for many years.

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Daughter, Kate Cannon, said: “Horses have always been a big part of our family. Even when dad gave up driving horses a couple of years ago, he still went to visit them every day, feeding them and mucking them out. “He’s never had a day off.”

And he also had a visit from his rescue dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, named Tyson.

Daisy Jackson, Trinity’s In-patient Unit Manager, said “Whether it’s a dog, a tortoise or a horse, we know how important people’s pets are to them, and see very often power they have of lifting the spirits of our patients. That’s why when Jimmy’s family approached us about a visit from Lola, we were only too happy to accommodate her. It was wonderful to see smiles all around, not only from Jimmy and his family, but from the other patients and their visitors and even our own staff who were in the hospice at the time.”