Facebook has brought an orphaned foal and bereaved mare together after a veterinary practice appealed for a foster mare.

When Geoff Lockwood’s mare was euthanased due to colic with a two-week-old foal at foot earlier this month, Hook Norton Veterinary Group posted on its Facebook page.

Within 36hr, Irish draught foal PJ was on his way from Oxfordshire to Fairlight Stud, Somerset, to meet his new mother Florence. She had lost her nine-day-old foal the same weekend.

“The post was seen by 12,500 people,” said Hook Norton vet Sam Cutts. “We had tried the National Foaling Bank, but they had been unable to find a match.”

JoSholl-Evans of Fairlight Stud said it’s been“very labour-intensive” but worth it. “ You need three people supervising feeds every 2hr, with the pelt of the dead foal on the new foal,” she said.

“But Florence is happy to have a baby to look after. PJ is a very big character and it’s great he has a mother.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)