A group of ponies recovering at the Blue Cross equine welfare centre in Burford, Oxfordshire have a new addition — Lucky, a foal born to one of the mares since they were rescued.

Edward Reay of Staines, Surrey, was banned from keeping horses for 10 years after admitting unreasonably confining a stallion and failing to remove hazards and provide secure fencing for his other horses, at Staines Magistrates Court on 28 March (news, 17 April).

When they arrived at the Blue Cross centre in May 2007 staff noticed one of the mares, Minnie was in foal and Lucky was born on Friday 11 April.

Vicki Alford, centre manager at The Blue Cross, said: “Lucky seemed like the perfect nickname for the little foal, whose life could have turned out so differently.

“It’s awful to think that these ponies were left to run wild and free to breed when they could barely survive themselves.

“Thank goodness Lucky made it through the pregnancy and can now look forward to a secure future with The Blue Cross. He’s only a week old but already full of beans and loving life!”

Lucky will remain at one of the charity’s dedicated equine centres until he is old enough to be backed and trained in preparation to be placed in a suitable home.

RSPCA Officer Alan Ramsey, who was involved in the rescue operation, said: “All credit to The Blue Cross they were wonderful.

“The Burford equine welfare centre provided expert care and improved the ponies condition immensely up to their subsequent confiscation following the court case.”