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Magical reindeer visit delights children at Hartlepool school

A spot of festive magic arrived at a Hartlepool primary school with a visit by Father Christmas – and a real life reindeer.

Every one of Eskdale Academy’s children got to meet reindeer Troy.

Santa Clause with Eskdale Academy pupil Fearne Staveley and Troy the Reindeer. Picture by FRANK REID

Santa Clause with Eskdale Academy pupil Fearne Staveley and Troy the Reindeer. Picture by FRANK REID

They got to stroke him, have their picture taken alongside him and have him ‘whisper’ in their ears.

A pen was set up for eight-year-old Troy and his handler George Richardson in the academy’s sports hall.

Business manager Gillian Harrison said: “We just wanted to give the children a treat because we didn’t think they would get an opportunity to see a live reindeer.

“The children were delighted as were the staff. He was the most beautiful thing we have ever seen.”

Troy the Reindeer with Eskdale Academy site supervisor Sharon Hogg. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer with Eskdale Academy site supervisor Sharon Hogg. Picture by FRANK REID

The visit was the idea of headteacher Elizabeth Killeen who is always thinking of new experiences and opportunities to give to the children.

Gillian added: “Classes went in one by one and each child got to feed him, interact with him and have their photographs taken.

“Santa Claus was there at one point as well. Troy whispered in the children’s ear and let him kiss him if they wanted.

“He was impeccably behaved.”

Troy the Reindeer with his handler George Richardson, Santa Clause  and Eskdale Academy pupils. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer with his handler George Richardson, Santa Clause and Eskdale Academy pupils. Picture by FRANK REID

“The whole school got to interact with him from two-year-olds in nursery right up to 10 and 11-year-olds in Year 6.

The special visit was arranged through Rent A Reindeer in Seaham which has one of the largest herds of the animals in the north of England.

Troy the Reindeer Eskdale Academy pupil Theo McKenzie Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer Eskdale Academy pupil Theo McKenzie Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer with his handler George Richardson and Eskdale Academy pupil Zein Mattar. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer with his handler George Richardson and Eskdale Academy pupil Zein Mattar. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer Eskdale Academy pupil Charlie Jones. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer Eskdale Academy pupil Charlie Jones. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer Eskdale Academy pupil Bentley Bradley. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer Eskdale Academy pupil Bentley Bradley. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer with Eskdale Academy pupil Marshall Hiddleston. Picture by FRANK REID

Troy the Reindeer with Eskdale Academy pupil Marshall Hiddleston. Picture by FRANK REID