There is a Shetland-sized hole in the hearts of the Scott family of Emu Creek this week after they said goodbye to Mickey, just shy of his 50th birthday.
The chestnut legend could possibly have been older but the Scotts were able to confirm that he was at least 48 when they had to make the hard decision that his little body just couldn’t go on without him suffering.
Mickey was renowned for being a bit ugly (“his head is nearly as big as his body”), being an escape artist (“she couldn’t keep him in so I basically just gave her the petrol money to bring him home”) and possibly even being a little bit senile in his later years, but he was still having the time of his life right up to his final days.
Louise and Tony Scott have bred and shown Clydesdales but a bit over 10 years ago they bought Mickey to help teach their young daughters a bit of horse sense.
It was always Mickey’s way or the highway.
He lived in the Scott’s backyard as it was the only place they could keep him secure. He hung out there with his friend Tic Tac, whose favourite haunt was under the trampoline, until he also succumbed to age about six months ago in his mid twenties.
Too bad tempered for a rug, Mickey preferred to camp under the veranda in winter and was known to sneak into the house if someone left the door open.
It is believed Mickey was used for pony rides at the Melbourne Zoo and at metropolitan race meetings in his younger days but ended up in Bendigo at age 36 when his owners moved into aged care.
He was advertised on the noticeboard at a local supermarket and purchased for a negligible sum by Louise as the woman who had him was having trouble keeping him in a paddock.
He was doted on by the Scott’s three daughters Pippa, Amy and Eva.
In the early years he enjoyed the occasional off-farm excursion with the family.
“We took him to pony club once but I don’t think he’s been mouthed, he doesn’t steer very well,” Louise said on the occasion of his 42nd birthday. “He actually rolled with one of the kids on him in the sand. That’s a bit of a hazard with him.”
This week, Louise reflected on his “extraordinary 48+ years of life”.
“Goodbye Mickey. What a great member of the Scott family you were. You spent your latter years quietly rattling around the near the house, sometimes insistent, sometimes infuriating, but a wonderful first pony for Eva, Amy and Pippa.
“We will miss your grumpiness and demands around here but how lucky were we to have such an incredible dinosaur in our lives for so long.”
This article appeared on The Regional on 8 March 2023.
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