Public asked to help name Shire filly who is pulling the crowds

  • A Shire filly who was born on Easter Sunday (4 April) has been drawing the crowds to a city farm park — and she needs a name.

    The new arrival was the first foal for her five-year-old dam Lottie (Lockley Band of Gold) and arrived shortly before Graves Animal Farm Park, which is run by Sheffield City Council, reopened to the public on April 12.

    “She’s been a massive attraction,” said the park’s head stockman Jack Todd. “Lottie is such a placid mare and great with the public and having her and the foal here has brought a whole new group of people through our gates.

    “We’ve still got restricted numbers per session at the moment because of Covid but we’ve also been doing a lot of Facebook videos and updates on her progress and they’ve been extremely popular.”

    The 25-acre farm park, ten minutes’ drive from Sheffield city centre and free to enter, is home to almost 400 animals and sits within 250 acres of land that were gifted to the people of Sheffield by J G Graves in the 1920s.

    Although the animal farm park started out as a rare breeds centre, it subsequently expanded, but the Shire filly’s birth is a nod to its origins.

    “We’re doing our bit to help the breed as it’s classed as at risk,” added Jack.

    “We won’t be keeping the foal (whose passport name is Graves Park Golden Princess), she will be looking for a five-star lifetime home once she is weaned, but we are looking to put Lottie back in foal in a couple of years’ time.”

    Lottie, who was bred by Matthew Gregory in Cheshire, arrived at the park in March 2020, shortly before the first national lockdown.

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    The mare and her filly live alongside two Shetlands — Twinkle and Sprinkle — and the park is also home to two miniature donkeys, Jimmy and Florence.

    Staff at the park are now inviting the public to help chose a stable name for the filly, who is the first horse foal they have bred.

    Voting for a name for the foal closes this weekend and votes can be cast on Facebook.

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