Lincolnshire-based Sarah Stewart is now the proud owner of this adorable mule foal. But how Pandora came to be was a total accident.
When Sarah bought a donkey, Woody, from a friend of hers, she was assured it was a gelding, and even checked to make sure.
But after she’d had him for 6 months, Woody walked past her in the field, swished his tail, and revealed that he was definitely not a gelding.
Sarah immediately removed him from the mares’ field and hoped he would not have covered any of them.
“We’d never seen any stallion behaviour, like jumping the mares, so we didn’t worry too much,” she said.
About a month ago, Sarah spotted that one of her mares, originally intended for her children to back and ride this summer, had grown an odd shaped belly.
“Lottie — who herself came as part of a BOGOF deal — is a 13.2hh Welsh part-bred and always a good doer and fat,” said Sarah. “I sent pictures to my friend, Kate Gregory, who has bred quite a few foals and she confirmed that I needed to keep an eye on the mare.
“Her udder got bigger and bigger and I thought I had about a month until she was due. I was in the middle of a text conversation about the importance of Jaffa Cakes in foaling kits when I went to check on her on 6 June, and the littl’un was already out.”
The bay filly, named Pandora by Sarah’s children, had 8-inch long ears.
The arrival of the mule foal is welcome tonic for Sarah, whose house was broken into and ransacked — and her dog beaten unconscious — just days later.
“It’s nice we’ve had Pandora after all the awful things that have happened,” said Sarah, whose animal-loving autistic son Logan is particularly besotted with the foal.
“She’s adorable — so sweet and cocky,” said Sarah. “I’m not sure what the plan is for the future, but for the time being she doesn’t eat too much and she can definitely stay.
“She’s so funny and has a lot of character.”
What is a mule?
- A mule is the offspring of a female horse and a male donkey.
- The reverse mating would produce a hinny.
- Mules and hinnies are both infertile.