‘Legendary’ mule celebrates 30th birthday by sharing cake with her friends

  • A mule with a distinctive bray has celebrated her 30th birthday by sharing a cake with her friends.

    Bransby Horses rescued Ebony as a foal in 1992 when she was found wandering the streets of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

    A charity spokesman said it was not clear if the mare had escaped from a field or been abandoned, but when no one claimed her she received “all the love and care she needed” from Bransby staff.

    During her younger years Ebony was trained to pull a small cart to help with her weight management, and the mare was also one of the charity’s “sponsorship stars” for many years.

    “Ebony’s character and cute looks have earned her legendary status and she is a firm favourite with staff and supporters alike,” said the spokesman.

    Visitor centre team leader Shell Craven said “everyone loves Ebony”.

    “She is such a cheeky little lady who doesn’t act her age at all. She has a distinctive voice when she brays and I can tell it’s her just from the noise she makes,” she said, adding that the mare has “very specific needs” and is kept with companions 26-year-old Shetland Cinderella and 21-year-old mule Penelope, who share similar needs.

    “Ebony only has a few teeth and needs her feed adjusted for this so that she can continue to eat well. She needs more than one rug to keep her warm and dry because a mule’s coat is not as waterproof as a horse’s.”

    “She’s a very intelligent mule and when she was younger she liked to be doing things rather than just grazing in a field. She’s retired now and is happy playing and relaxing in her paddock with her little herd.”

    The charity presented Ebony with an “equine friendly” cake made from grass nuts, carrots and molasses, for her 30th birthday, which she enjoyed sharing with Cinderella and Penelope.

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