Rescued Pony Excels as Surrogate Dam

An orphaned Thoroughbred foal named Jerry who was fostered by a rescued mare at World Horse Welfare has been reunited with his grateful owner.

When Jerry lost his own mother last August, his worried owner contacted the National Foaling Bank to see if they could find him a surrogate. At around the same time staff at World Horse Welfare's recovery and rehabilitation center at Belwade Farm in Aboyne, United Kingdom, were caring for Lightning, a grey Welsh Mountain pony who had given birth to a very sick foal.

Lightning arrived at World Horse Welfare in January 2009, after she and five other thin and lice-ridden ponies were found living amongst car batteries, broken wood, and metal. Unfortunately, the foal could not be saved. Center manager Eileen Gillen contacted the National Foaling Bank to see if Lightning might be able to help another foal.

"The next day Jerry was brought to Belwade Farm and we all held our breath as he was carefully introduced to Lightning, but to our relief she took to him straight away," Gillen said. "Despite her traumatic past she has been the most fantastic foster mum and when Jerry grew bigger than her, she used to lift her hind leg to allow him to suckle more easily.

"Jerry has now been weaned and the time has come to return him to his owner. We are so pleased that we were able to help and of course we are immensely proud of Lightning."

Lightning's managers hope that she will soon be rehomed through the charity's loan scheme.

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