An unexpected baby boom at a horse rescue centre has prompted an urgent appeal for financial help from the charity.
In August last year, White Horse Stables Horse Rescue in Ellenwhorne Lane, Staplecross, took in six rescue ponies from Somerset.
The animals had been kept in appalling conditions with around 100 other ponies.
Their owner was prosecuted, banned from keeping animals for life and the horses were taken in by various rescue centres.
But unbeknownst to White Horse, three of the horses were in foal.
Diane Barclay-Bernard, chairman of the charity, said: “We did not know they were pregnant.
“We noticed they were getting a bit portly at the end of February.
“But there’s nothing much you can do.”
The trio gave birth within days of each other.
On April 8, Delilah had Samson, Dorothy gave birth to Oz the next day and Maggie welcomed little Mae on April 10.
And despite the traumatic circumstances surrounding their conception, the three newborns are thriving.
Diane said: “They are amazing. They are super little creatures.
“They are playing and they are happy.
“The two boys are very rambunctious and running around the fields.”
Although the surprise arrivals have been embraced by White Horse, having three extra mouths to feed is putting a strain on the charity’s finances.
Diane said: “We are appealing for donations, big time.
“We have quite a lot of volunteers coming in as people love foals.
“But as much as their help is appreciated, we need money. Vets are not cheap.”
Speaking about the financial pressures of running the centre, she added: “We are a very small charity so it’s always donations we need to keep it running.”
White Horse Stables welcomes visitors and Diane is willing to accept donations in person.
Alternatively, visitors can make a donation via the website at www.whitehorsestables.co.uk
Meanwhile, White Horse is still seeking loving homes for the original six rescue ponies.
The horses were wild when they came to the stables as they had never been handled.
Now they have been tamed, with three-year-old Sadie broken in, and are ready to start a new life.
But Diane says she is not willing to let the horses go to anyone.
Any prospective owner must be experienced and willing to look after the animals long-term.
Diane said: “They have got to be very knowledgeable people and they have got to be homes for life.
“The animals have had it so rough, we want them to have forever homes.”
Anyone who can offer a loving home to one of these ponies can check out the profile page on the White Horse website or call 01580 831266.
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