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Small horse, big season’s greetings

Posted: December 24, 2013 12:29 p.m.
Updated: December 24, 2013 12:29 p.m.

Nancy Degan, right, and Cherry the Miniature Horse pose for photos with Mark Robinson and other passersby as Degan hands out candy canes on Main Street in Newhall. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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SANTA CLARITA - For years local resident Nancy Degan and her furry friend Cherries Jubilee, also known as Cherry the Miniature Horse, have spread their unique brand of holiday cheer throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

Since 2008 the two have traveled up and down local streets during the holidays, giving candy canes to passersby.

“That’s one of our little traditions around the holiday season,” Degan said Tuesday.

The duo also dresses for the occasion. This year Cherry came decked out in a Santa hat, angel wings and strands of Christmas lights as the pair traversed Main Street in Newhall.

Degan dressed to match, wearing a Santa hat of her own.

“There’s a lot of kids out there that don’t have a whole lot and families that don’t have a whole lot, and this is a way to cheer them up,” Degan said.

During their treks, many people stop to pet or take pictures with Cherry, who stands about hip high and knows a variety of tricks, including being able to dance or stand upright for a short time.

“Being with Cherry is like being with an A-list celebrity,” Degan said. “Everyone knows her wherever she goes.”

Miniature horses, which have been around for centuries in countries around the world, can sometimes be trained as service animals, similar to the way one trains dogs.

Cherry is no exception. Degan said Cherry is a therapy horse, and she hopes to take her into community centers or hospitals to spread cheer all year round, starting in January.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney

 

 

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