A London riding school received a shock recently on discovering one of its seven riding school ponies was pregnant.

Vauxhall City Farm has had five-year-old Irish cob, Pimms, since last autumn. She even took part in a sponsored cross-country ride earlier this month.

However, after puzzling over the cause of her weight gain, suspicions were raised and it was been confirmed that she was due to foal.

Linda Hinds from the farm said: “It’s unlikely the previous owners were aware of her condition either as she’d have fallen pregnant last summer but it’s no wonder she’s been so quiet!”

She had the foal on Friday 27 May at 11.30pm and it has been named Saphie (short for Bombay Sapphire).

The city farm is now appealing for help, as Pimms will not be able to remain at the school.

“We don’t have any grazing, her stable is too small for her and a foal,” said Linda. “As soon as we knew she was pregnant she went to stay at Parley Brook Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey, where she had the foal.

“As a city farm we provide a large number of subsidized lessons and rely on donations,” Linda added.

“Paying for veterinary care and costs for a mare and foal plus paying for a replacement pony was not in the budget so we’re hoping people will help.”

Linda is also looking for a home for Saphie when she is weaned.

For more information visit: www.vauxhallcityfarm.org