The Touching Story Behind Jaffa the Rocking Horse

6 October 2023

The Touching Story Behind Jaffa the Rocking Horse image

Highland Hospice’s autumn auction is about to close on Monday 9th October, and one of the stand out items is a beautifully hand-crafted rocking horse called Jaffa.

Jaffa has been donated by Alan Mundie, 60, who is living with terminal cancer and wanted to support the Hospice through this unique, valuable and stunning creation which was crafted by his father Dennis.

Alan explains, “I’ve had Jaffa for 20 years, since my dad gave one each of his horses to myself and my sister Susan. Jaffa has been with me, first of all in Aberdeenshire and more recently in Boat of Garten where myself and my wife Alison moved to after I retired from the police 5 years ago.”

“Two years ago my life changed completely when I had a colonoscopy, and was told that not only did I have bowel cancer but that I also had several inoperable tumours on my liver.”

“Jaffa has never been used or sat on by a child and I wanted to donate him, firstly to help the Hospice who look after people in similar situations to me. And secondly so that someone else can get some joy out of my father’s beautiful creation.”

“Everyone who sees Jaffa agrees that he has to be seen to be appreciated. The photos simply don’t do him justice. Whoever wins this beautiful rocking horse will have a truly stunning addition to their home.”

Alan came into the Hospice with Jaffa, who is currently situated in our Reception area, last week and we were struck by his generous nature and positive outlook on life.

Alan said, “Last year alone I had 18 rounds of chemo and immunotherapy. I’m lucky in that I respond well to the chemo, but it’s a lot of treatment for anyone to be given. I am actually on a break from my treatment as the latest type I’ve had has caused my skin so much pain and damage that I can’t take any more at present.”

“When I get a window of opportunity like this, I like to be pro-active and make the most of my time so we are looking forward to a holiday in Egypt. It’s important to me to look at what opportunities I can have, rather than what restrictions are in place due to my diagnosis.”

Jaffa was handcrafted by Alan’s father Dennis, who created the horses as a secondary occupation once he retired from running a Garden Centre. All of Dennis’s horses were made with the highest quality hardwood and fittings. Created from North American Poplar, Jaffa’s rockers are in natural polished Ash, his main and tail are made from real horse hair and he has adjustable bridal and reins in top quality leather, cast fittings and stirrup irons.

Thank you so much to Alan for sharing his inspiring story and letting us have Jaffa for our auction – and good luck to anyone bidding on this gorgeous rocking horse.

If you wish to bid, you can do so here.

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