Two north-east ponies have trotted 6,500 miles to America to start a new life.
Methlick-based horse breeders Nina and Robert MacDonald-Lewis have run Drumnagair Shetland Ponies for the past five years, and received a unique request from across the Atlantic.
A fellow horse enthusiast, Deneb Davies, from Acampo, California, got in touch with the north-east breeder last summer, asking about exporting two of the horses, Jessie Jade and Eclipse, across the world.
Nina, 42, said: “Deneb has followed the progress of my ponies through my Facebook page for some time.
“She made contact with me last year, asking if I had any ponies for sale since she was interested to found her own stud farm in California – breeding the old-fashioned, traditional type of Shetland Pony we have here.
“After a lot of discussion, I agreed to sell her Jessie Jade, a mare I bought in Orkney, who has bred me a fantastic filly foal we are keeping. I also agreed to sell Deneb a homebred colt – Eclipse. I was absolutely thrilled Eclipse would be going overseas to play such an important role.”
The ponies were picked up on Wednesday morning by Douglas Horse Transport, before they were driven down to England, where they spent a week in quarantine.
From there, the two horses travelled to Amsterdam by boat before taking an 11-hour flight to sunny Los Angeles, California.
Nina said the goodbye was “emotional” but she is looking forward to following their progress. She added: “It has been a long process to get to this point, and both ponies have had to have a series of vaccinations, blood tests and swabs over the past few months.
“There were a few tears shed and I got a bit emotional when they were being picked up but it’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to have a homebred colt in America and I can’t wait to follow his progress.”
Jessie Jade and Eclipse have now safely arrived in California.