'She was my companion' - owner pays tribute to popular village horse Maggie

Maggie the horse with villagers in Burwell

Maggie the horse, who died at the age of 28, became a village favourite in Burwell over the years. - Credit: Julia Bevan

The owner of a popular horse who graced villagers for nearly 30 years and “never did anyone harm” has paid tribute to her. 

Many residents in and around Burwell got to know Maggie, a Piebald, who was regularly seen in fields on Spring Close. 

Maggie’s owner Linda Wicksteed said: “She was very popular and never did anyone harm.” 

Maggie died aged 28 on April 25 through old age. 

The village favourite was taken into Linda’s ownership in 2002 aged eight-years-old, and through her gentle ways, grew fond with many human, and animal, alike. 

Maggie the horse of Burwell

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

“I used to go round the back of Burwell; she was half-trained, she was really easy and we had a wonderful time,” said Linda. 

“Hundreds of dog owners used to let them go on her field and most dogs were well-behaved.  

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“Sometimes I’d find boys trying to get on top of her but no one did any major harm; Maggie was as fit as a fiddle.” 

Many children used to visit Maggie on walks through Burwell, sometimes on purpose just to see her. 

Maggie the horse hugged by child in Burwell

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

Maggie the horse greeted by child

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

She was also a fan of many foods gifted by visitors, and not just the usual fruit and vegetables. 

“Children came to visit her often and would purposely walk that way to see her,” Linda said. 

“The local children would feed her and she never ate anyone’s fingers.  

“She had a little field about a third of an acre so people would always find her.” 

Linda recalled that some even fed Maggie a chocolate cake, “so she didn’t just get apples and carrots!” 

Maggie the horse of Burwell

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

Maggie the horse greeted in Burwell

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

In later life, Maggie battled with arthritis but was still seen trotting around and eating grass the day before she died. 

Tributes have poured in on social media for Maggie, who made a lasting impact on those she met. 

One said “that was a wonderful part of my childhood, walking down to visit Maggie with a carrot or two”. 

Another wrote that “she was so much part of our village”. 

Maggie the horse with a family in Burwell

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

Maggie the horse of Burwell, Cambridgeshire

Maggie was popular amongst many families in and around Burwell during her time in the village. - Credit: Julia Bevan

Linda realised the effect Maggie had on the village, sometimes acting as their main aim for the day. 

“For some people, Maggie was the animal that kept them going,” she added. 

“She was my companion.”