Wilson the Shetland pony wows the stars at Pride of Scotland

Hollywood actors, chart-topping artists and politicians all came together last week to celebrate the country's unsung heroes, but it was a little Shetland pony who stole the show.

Trotting along the red carpet in a tiny kilt, sporran and lace-up shoes, Wilson won the hearts of everyone he met at the Pride of Scotland Awards.

He and his owners, Elaine and John Sangster, who run Therapy Ponies Scotland, won a Special Recognition Award at our People's Oscars and the celebs were queuing up to get selfies with the equine superstar.

Braveheart and Trainspotting actor James Cosmo was enchanted by the miniature pony who nuzzled his arm. He said: "I've been to a fair few events and awards ceremonies in my time but I never thought I would ever share a red carpet with a little horse wearing a kilt and sporran - it's a night I will remember forever.

"The joy Wilson brings to sick and disabled children, the elderly and dementia sufferers across the nation is truly remarkable. He really is a magical little pony."

Elaine, and John, both 59, from Bathgate, West Lothian, set up Therapy Ponies Scotland nine years ago after taking Wilson to visit a rehabilitation care home and realising the positive impact he had on residents.

They now visit care homes, nursing homes, hospices, day-care centres, sheltered housing facilities and out-of-school clubs for disabled children with their 15-strong herd of miniature ponies.

Wilson and the Sangsters received their well-deserved award from Still Game's Greg Hemphill and Gavin Mitchell and singing sensation Susan Boyle, who were all tickled by the tiny horse.

Susan said: "What a gorgeous little pony and what a huge difference he and his owners are making! He is so well behaved and I loved having my photo taken with him."

Gavin, aka Boaby the barman, said: "I can only imagine what joy wee Wilson and his horsey pals are bringing to folk up and down the country. Goan yersel' little man."

Before he clip-clopped on stage, hosts Sanjeev Kohli and Elaine C Smith warned the audience that Wilson did not like clapping and suggested a jazz hands welcome instead.

Greg said: "Thankfully Wilson was the best behaved celebrity in the room. What a wee star."

Elaine is super proud of her wee horse who caught the attention of Star Wars legend Denis Lawson, Dancing on Ice's Mark Hanretty and comedian Janey Godley.

She said: "Wilson joined our herd of ponies when he was around six months old. When we first met him he was so shy, he'd run into a corner and hide.

"When we took him home he was getting a bit bullied by the other ponies and he wasn't fitting in so we put him in the kennel with our Newfoundlands and he slept there.

"He soon grew in confidence and is now the star of the show. He is the cheekiest pony you will ever meet but is as gentle as a lamb. He is a very people's pony. He's very affectionate and loves a kiss and a cuddle. We are very proud of him and all the joy he and our other ponies bring"

John added: "Wilson loves getting dressed up and Elaine made his kilt and sash so he would fit in on the red carpet. He fits into the shoes from the Build-A-Bear Workshop so as well as his dress shoes he has two tiny pairs of Converse trainers. ."

Wilson's award was one of the highlights of an incredible night. From humbling acts of kindness and selfless acts of bravery to raising millions for charity, the Pride of Scotland Awards, in partnership with TSB, recognised winners in 11 categories.

The glittering event is now live on YouTube and you can watch all the tears and cheers from the night by scanning this bar code.

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