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Neigh-bourly visit.

Byline: Mike Blackburn

Taking your pet dog to work is one thing - but trying to squeeze your Racehorse under the desk is a different proposition entirely!

But residents of a Darlington care home were more than happy to horse around when their general manager's chestnut mare, One And Only, came to visit yesterday.

The four-year-old filly belongs to Tony McGarry, who runs Barchester Healthcare's North Park Care Centre, and recently bought the racehorse with two other Barchester managers.

Since joining North Park six months ago, Tony has gone to great lengths to improve standards and raise morale among staff and residents at the home, and his latest venture is no exception.

He plans to organise trips out for residents, relatives and staff to watch One And Only train at her home in the Yorkshire Dales. "I think our residents would love to visit the farm where she lives and trains," said Tony. "It is only seven miles away from North Park Care Centre, and the scenic views of the Yorkshire Dales are truly stunning.

"I'll have to organise the visits with her first though - she can be a moody mare sometimes!"

Among the residents who enjoyed meeting One And Only was George Carr, a keen animal lover who liked the odd flutter on the horses in his time. He said: "I like the look of her, I think she could go far."

Tony ultimately hopes to plan full days out to watch One And Only compete in local race meetings in and around Darlington.

He added: "A day out at the races is fun and exciting for everyone, and would be a wonderful opportunity for residents and their relatives to spend some quality time together. I would love to see the local community get involved in supporting her too."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 10, 2005
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