A former owner has been reunited with the pony she sold as a youngster thanks to an H&H story on strangely marked horses.

Felix, a 21-year-old dark bay with a white face and bright blue eyes, was featured as one of the “21 horses that make you look twice”. When his owner, Sarah Cataldo, shared the story on Facebook, his distinctive looks attracted the attention of Hilary Britton, who had owned him as a 3-year-old.

“Had he not been on the front of the [H&H] page, I may well not have seen him,” said Hilary, who is originally from Kent but now breeds Cleveland Bays and deals in Connemaras in Ireland.

“As it was, I saw his old white face and said out loud: ‘surely it can’t be’ and got straight on to Sarah.

Bygone times: Felix as a three-year-old

An unforgettable face: Felix as a 3-year-old

“I always did think he had the X-factor as a youngster, and I am totally overjoyed to see he has has been much loved and so well produced,” she added.

Sarah said that although he has been their family pony for 14 years, they knew nothing of his history. She has now discovered that he was bred in Kent by a coloured stallion out of a thoroughbred mare.

“He turns many heads and I could have sold him many, many times over,” said Sarah. “He has the sweetest nature imaginable and loves the attention.

People fall in love with him wherever we go, although some people comment that he looks like he’s wearing a mask.”

Sarah didn’t see an advert before she tried him.

“[The owners] asked me if I knew what he looked like, which I did think strange at the time. As they lowered the ramp this wonderful bright-eyed little face greeted me.”

Felix has won affiliated dressage and showjumping, hunts and is now teaching Sarah’s 13-year-old niece to ride.

Felix has competed affiliated dressage and showjumping

A head-turner: ‘he looks like he’s wearing a mask’, says Sarah Cataldo