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Game of Thrones newborn colt lifts spirits at charity

A pregnant mare found in “desperate need” last year has given birth to a healthy colt who is lifting spirits at a charity.

Six year-old mare Khaleesi arrived at Burnley-based welfare charity the Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA) in June 2019 with her two-year-old daughter Sansa and two-year-old filly Arya as part of a multi-agency rescue.

A spokesman for the charity said the group, named after characters from Game of Thrones, arrived unhandled, extremely underweight and suffering from a severe lice infestation, and Khaleesi’s pregnancy came as an “extra surprise”.

“It was a real shock, and a shame, that in her poor condition Khaleesi was trying to support her unborn foal too,” said HAPPA equine development officer Laura Brown.

“The team ensured all three ponies received the care and attention needed, and on 22 March we were rewarded by Khaleesi giving birth to a very healthy colt.”

The spokesman said following suggestions from the charity’s supporters the colt was named Kevan, after Ser Kevan Lannister – younger brother of Lord Tywin Lannister in the TV series.

HAPPA senior equine care officer Kelly Laird said the team had been unsure how Khaleesi would react to Kevan, because she was so nervous when she arrived at the charity.

“We thought she may revert to type and this would have made it difficult for us to support her or Kevan if it was needed. But she has been a dream with all the staff and the vet, and lets us check her and Kevan daily,” she said.

“He went out for his first ‘play-out’ in the indoor arena on Monday (23 March) and has been having daily play time since. Next week he should be able to enjoy some time in fields. He is feeding very well, and like all youngsters is full of energy and mischief already.”

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The spokesman added Kevan will remain at the centre and in the future will be available for rehoming under the charity’s temporary foster scheme.

“It has been a difficult time for us all at HAPPA. The centre is now closed to all visitors and we are missing having regular contact with our supporters,” she said.

“The arrival of little Kevan has really lifted the spirits. Like so many other charities and businesses we are struggling, having the centre closed means a significant drop in our income. We will still continue to provide the very best for Kevan and all the horses and ponies in our care, but any support the public can give is truly appreciated in these challenging times.”

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