FIVE PONIES rescued from flooded fields in Northamptonshire this February have given birth to healthy foals during lockdown.

The rescue saw 43 ponies in total taken from flooded fields in Wellingborough, many were very thin, covered in fleas and lice and most had little, if any, experience of being handled.

Five mares were amongst 11 ponies admitted to Blue Cross animal rehoming centre in Rolleston, Staffordshire and have since given birth to foals.

Rehoming Co-ordinator at Blue Cross, Verity Anderton-Johnson said: “All of the ponies were in a bad way when we took them in. 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 and that mum had managed the birth without any help and that they are all doing so well. We are very proud of these mums.”

Bunny was born on Good Friday and Victory on VE Day and the other three, Bumblebee, Rainbow and River during May and June. 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.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We are delighted that some of the horses rescued have gone on to have foals and are doing well in the care of Blue Cross. During the operation, which involved partner organisations, a total of 43 horses were rescued. It 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.

“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.”

To find out more about the group and offering a home please visit www.bluecross.org.uk, contact the centre on 0300 777 1520 or email rolleston@bluecross.org.uk.