Campaign to pay for treatment of beloved Sheffield shire horse Big Lad

Big Lad with Manor Lodge farm ranger Ethel Worthington.
Big Lad with Manor Lodge farm ranger Ethel Worthington.
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Sheffield heritage bosses have launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for the treatment of a beloved work horse.

A trip to Manor Lodge is not complete without a sight of Big Lad, the Clydesdale shire horse who often gives demonstrations of traditional farming methods.

Big Lad with Manor Lodge farm ranger Ethel Worthington.

Big Lad with Manor Lodge farm ranger Ethel Worthington.

But the animal has recently been under the weather, and after blood tests was diagnosed with laminitis, a disease that can be crippling. He also has flu like symptoms and an inflammation.

Staff and volunteers at Manor Lodge are waiting for the results of ultrasound and blood tests to find out how serious the illness is. But in the meantime they have set up and online crowdfunding page to try to cover the horse's vet bills.

Farm ranger Ethel Worthington said: “We are very sad that Big Lad is ill. Big Lad has been part of our team for many years and is much loved by staff, volunteers and the public. We hope he gets better very soon.

"We are crossing our fingers that it is not so serious but for now he is on painkillers and antibiotics. He can't feed on grass so is having to stare longingly at donkey's Rosie and Lilly as they frolic in the field.

"We want to get Big Lad on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Any donations towards Big Lad's vets fees would be greatly appreciated and could help make a big difference."

Working horses like Big Lad were a common sight around Manor Lodge. Manor Oaks Farm had four when it was sold in 1938 to make way for the Manor housing estate.

Now the horse is key attraction at the restored farmhouse and is available for hire across Sheffield.

So far about £200 has been donated to help Big Lad, and plenty of people have left messages of support.

John Clarke wrote: "He has helped so many children and adults at outside open days to realise their potential - it's our time to pay him back."

And Helen Herman, who donated £30, wrote: "Get well soon."

If you would like to help, visit

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