The UK’s first guide horse Digby has been given to Mohammed Salim Patel, 23, who works as a journalist for BBC Northwest Tonight at MediaCityUK.
The horse was given to Mr Patel due to his phobia of dogs. The actual horse will grow no bigger than 2 ft.
It’s current trainer/owner Katy Smith stated “He will be able to help with household chores, just like a guide dog,” according to iNews.
Guide horses have been used in the United States for around three years but this will mark the first time one has been used in the UK.
Thoughts are the use of guide horses can expand nationally due to their longer life spans in comparison to dogs and therefore will reduce training costs as well.
Digby has had plenty of media coverage over the past week including appearances on North West Tonight and Countryfile.
Digby the horse also has his own Twitter page which his most recent tweet is available below.
When interviewed Mr Patel said: “I’ve got a phobia of dogs and therefore couldn’t have a guide dog,
“I’ve learnt that miniature horses were able to be guide horses as proven in America.
“Why not introduce that here into the UK and there’s a lady in North Yorkshire called Katy Smith who is training Digby up to be the UK’s first guidehorse and as soon as I heard about that, I wanted to be the first recipient.
“There’s already interest from the media coverage there has already been, from other people nationwide who are looking into this concept as well.”
Now that the filing is out the way, I can trot on with my guide training. Have a good day in whatever you're doing today pic.twitter.com/ZnZxfbxSWd
— Digby 🐴 (@DigbyGuideHorse) February 13, 2018
Mr Patel came up with the moniker of ‘The Blind Journalist’ which he has used since he went University Of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). He currently is a First Class BA Hons International Journalism graduate.
The Blind Journalist currently suffers from a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP),
There currently is nothing to cure RP which causes the sufferer to have difficulty seeing in poor light and having a loss of peripheral vision, this is generally caused by a fault in genetic information passed down from a parent.
For more information about RP visit the RNIB Website or call 0303 123 9999.