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Foals come at a gallop for horse charity

PUBLISHED: 09:34 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 July 2010

The stork has been busy at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which has a record number of 18 foals in its care and more new arrivals on the way.

The reason why the Norfolk-based charity has so many young animals is that it has helped with several large rescues - including herds running wild - the majority being pregnant mares.

The stork has been busy at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which has a record number of 18 foals in its care and more new arrivals on the way.

The reason why the Norfolk-based charity has so many young animals is that it has helped with several large rescues - including herds running wild - the majority being pregnant mares.

Three of the foals arrived alongside their mums but the other 15 were born into the safe and secure environment which the sanctuary provides at its centre at Hapton, near Diss.

Tiny Tinkerbell's start in life was precarious as there were concerns about her digestive system and conformation but close nursing and extra care has given her the best start possible. These days the miniature Shetland pony enjoys rolling over on her back to have her tummy tickled like a cat or dog!

Austin's mum sadly rejected him after being rescued from a site in London and became aggressive towards her offspring.

He was unable to get the colostrum he needed from her milk without intervention from the Redwings' staff.

After a 'touch-and-go' start he has progressed well, thanks to round-the-clock care and feeding - as has pony foal Custard, who lost his mother recently when her liver failed due to the poor conditions she had previously experienced in Birmingham.

Chief executive Lynn Cutress said: “Many of our residents are elderly or have health problems, so to have so many foals is very refreshing and a real joy for our staff to know they have been able to help them, particularly in the cases of Austin and Custard who would not have survived without our help - in particular the expertise of our veterinary and night teams.

“We will assess each foal as it grows, and it is very likely that many will be able to be rehomed through our guardianship scheme in the future.”

Welfare officer Rachel Fairhead said Redwings always advises people to think very carefully about the implications before breeding mares, especially with the current economic climate seeing horse sales slow down, and household finances being squeezed.

“A new foal is wonderful but you have to be able to afford to keep it and budget for veterinary expense,” she said.

To learn more about Redwings, visit www.redwings.co.uk


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