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A miniature foal was the centre of attention after he was born in broad daylight at a zoo farm.

Staff and crowds at Woodlands Family Theme Park, in Dartmouth, could not believe their eyes when Tinker went into labour in the middle of the day on Friday (8 April).

Marketing executive Jessica Bennett told H&H that keepers were on hand to help and the pony’s field is big enough that she was well away from visitors.

“We have never had that happen before,” she said. “The crowd started off small, but became quite big.”

She added the palomino foal — named Phoenix — stands at just 60cm and is the “spitting image” of his miniature Shetland sire, Freddie.

Phoenix1“Tinker has had a couple of foals before, she is a lovely mum,” said Jessica.

The foaling went smoothly and both mare and foal are doing well.

“Phoenix is brilliant — he is up on his feet and having lots of cuddles with his mum,” she added. “He is adorable.”

Michaela Newham, head keeper of the zoo farm, said she was “extremely surprised” by the time of the birth.

Phoenix2“We have never had a foal born in the middle of the day, but I am very happy with how the little foal and mum are doing,” she said.

“He gave the crowd of visitors an amazing experience on their day out at Woodlands.”


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Celebrating new arrivals

Horse & Hound has put together a foal gallery to celebrate the second part of our sport horse special, which came out last week (7 April).

We asked you to send us photos of your foals and readers can vote for their favourite.