Five healthy foals have been born to a group of ponies rescued from floods.
A total of 43 ponies were taken from flooded fields in Wellingborough in a large-scale operation in February, involving multiple organisations.
Many were thin, covered in fleas and lice, and had little if any experience of being handled.
The Blue Cross took in 11 of these, including five mares who have all since given birth during lockdown.
“All of the ponies were in a bad way when we took them in,” said Blue Cross rehoming co-ordinator Verity Anderton-Johnson.
“They were very nervous and one in particular, Soar, was so emaciated it was a shock to discover she was in foal. It was wonderful to arrive at the centre some mornings to find a new baby resident that mum had managed the birth without any help and that they are all doing so well. We are very proud of these mums.”
The mares and foals have been named Hipper and Bunny, Tweed and Bumblebee, Soar and Victory, Dove and Rainbow and Eden and River.
It is understood that they had been dumped in the area for unauthorised grazing.
The landowner seized the horses, with the help of the RSPCA, under the Control of Horses Act. Bunny was born on Good Friday (10 April) and Victory on VE Day (8 May), with the other three arriving during May and June.
A Blue Cross spokesman added “all are doing well and growing in confidence and many of the foals enjoy having a fuss from the centre team”.
“While it is a very happy ending for some of the foals who are soon to go to new homes, others are still looking to find places where there are with other mares and foals until the foals are weaned,” he added.
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‘It’s so rewarding to know they are now safe and thriving thanks to the hard work of all our welfare
An RSPCA spokesperson said the charity is “delighted” the horses are doing well in the Blue Cross’s care.
“[The rescue]was a difficult task as it was such a large site with lots of hazards such as a river, lake and flooded fields so our water rescue teams were also called to join the effort,” he said.
“None of the animals were micro-chipped so we were unable to identify and locate their owner to hold them responsible. But it is great that all the horses are now returning to full health and will go on to be rehomed.”
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