A para dressage rider — who is aiming at the 2020 Paralympics — has come to the rescue of two homeless foals.

The two foals, who are now eight-months-old, came to the charity the Blue Cross when they just three-months-old.

After care at the Burford-based charity, Elf and Olaf were ready for rehoming.

Katherine Cooksley, a member of the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) World Class Development Programme, has now taken on the two foals, and they are living with her in Berkshire.

“Horses have always been a massive part of my life and I’ve always wanted to rescue,” said 21-year-old Katherine.

“Now seemed like the perfect time as I was looking for some young horses I could train, both for me and my mum to ride. You never know, Elf and Olaf could be future stars!”

Katherine was just 21-months-old when she was diagnosed with meningitis. The disease left her having to have three fingers on both hands removed as well as impaired hearing and limited vision.

Katherine added: “My illness made me more determined than ever to carry on doing what I love. Being around horses is great therapy, and I am so happy I went to Blue Cross to find my next companions. They are settling in so well. It’s like they’ve always been with us.”

020 Katherine with her horses Olaf, Garnet, Rohan, Gem and Elf

Blue Cross cares for 40,000 sick and homeless pets each year and in 2014 helped more than 350 horses.

Vicki Alford, manager at Blue Cross’s Oxfordshire horse unit, said: “After their terrible start in life, we’re so pleased Elf and Olaf have found such a fantastic home with Katherine.”