A famed "horse whisperer" has become patron of an equine charity based near Bristol.
Champion horse trainer Monty Roberts is believed to have been one of the inspirations for the novel Horse Whisperer, which became a Hollywood film starring Robert Redford.
He paid a visit to Horseworld in Whitchurch in November where he learned about the charity's Discovery project, which sees young people with emotional, behavioural and learning issues bond with horses.
Mr Roberts said: "As I observed Horseworld's work it became clear that its main goal is to improve the lives of horses and children.
"By now, a great portion of the horse world knows that these two subjects are the prime motivations of my life."
Kelly Marks, from Witney in Oxfordshire, will also become a patron of the charity, which is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year.
John Newman, its chairman of trustees, said: "Our special anniversary year couldn't have got off to a more positive start than this.
"To have Monty Roberts join the Horseworld team as patron is a huge honour for our staff, volunteers and supporters."
Mr Roberts released his book on non-violent training methods for horses, called "The Man Who Listens to Horses" in 1996.
- 10 April 2011