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Steeton foster mum 'saves' pony
7:50am Friday 16th August 2013 in Keighley
Time was running out for miniature spotted pony Ralph after his mother rejected him when he was just two days old.
His owner, Christine Jackson, from Steeton, tried to rear him by hand, but after ten days of refusing to eat, the tiny 18in-high foal was dangerously thin.
As a last resort, she took him to her friend and fellow miniature horse breeder, Linda Leeming in Eastburn. And it was a case of third time lucky, when Ralph was finally accepted by one of Linda’s three mares.
“It was our last hope. He’d been rejected by his own mother and he’d been rejected by my mares, Betty and Lady. It was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” said Linda.
“When we got to my third mare, Poppy, it was our last hope, but she let the little foal suckle straightaway. He latched himself on and wouldn’t come off until his little tummy was full!”
She said it really had been the little foal’s very last chance.
“He would have died,”she said. “There was no way he could have stayed with his mother, she just kept attacking hi. But he wouldn’t drink out of a bottle either – he just wanted his mum.”
But now Ralph, a Falabella blend miniature, who is just coming up to four months old, is back home with his foster mum and is sharing a field with two four tup lambs.
“He’s really healthy and even though they are bigger than him he likes nothing more than chasing the lambs,” said Linda.
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