A filly with the X Factor: Rescued foal stars in celebrity pet photo shoot

Diana Vickers with Emerald at the Blue Cross photoshoot.
Diana Vickers with Emerald at the Blue Cross photo shoot. © Rankin

A special portrait series for national pet charity Blue Cross by celebrity photographer Rankin features an irresistibly cute chestnut pony who was found abandoned with her mother just a year ago.

Emerald snuggled up to X Factor star Diana Vickers, and was an undoubted jewel in the crown for Rankin, who gave his time as a gift to the charity in celebration of the role pets play in our lives.

James Bowen and Bob The Street Cat.
James Bowen and Bob The Street Cat: “Bob truly is my soul mate and the connection we have is like no other. I can’t imagine my life without Bob by my side. This portrait is a celebration of our relationship and how we are all enriched by our pets in unique and differing ways.” © Rankin.

Emerald was a tiny foal when she and her mother were found fly grazing and struggling to survive last summer. Blue Cross took them both in and with proper care Emerald was soon on the road to recovery. She behaved impeccably during her photo session with Vickers and Rankin was captivated by her photogenic look and laid back attitude. Emerald has now been rehomed and is leading a very contented life with a family in Shropshire.

“Emerald was so frightened when she arrived we were so very proud of how far she has come in her training and how well she handled the photo shoot,” said Grace Shayler, training supervisor at Blue Cross.

British portrait and fashion photographer Rankin (aka John Rankin Waddell), said: “Pets change our lives. I know mine certainly have and that is why I wanted to join forces with Blue Cross and their famous friends and through this series of unique portraits, inspire people to give back to pets in need for the amazing, enriching and wonderful roles pets play in our lives.”

The portrait series features celebrity supporters of the charity, some with a range of Blue Cross pets, including Jimmy Carr with his own Blue Cross adopted dog, Marnie, Emily Head (Emmerdale) with rescued kitten, Stevie and James Bowen and Bob The Street Cat. Other famous faces in the line-up included Miranda Richardson (Blackadder, ITV Girlfriends), Anthony Head (Buffy, Little Britain, Girlfriends), Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It, C4), Michelle Collins (Eastenders) and Issac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones).

“Pets play such an important role in our lives and I can’t image my life without them in it,” said Diana Vickers during the photo shoot.

Rankin took a self-portrait with Blue Cross horse, Splodge for the Blue Cross.
Rankin took a self-portrait with Blue Cross horse Splodge, for the Blue Cross.

“My cat Kiki fills my heart with joy and I love her. It was wonderful to take part in a photography project which celebrates the way so many different kinds of pets enrich and bring happiness to our lives and homes.”

Blue Cross CEO Sally de la Bedoyere said the charity was thrilled Rankin agreed to give his time to take photos for the portrait series.

“The images couldn’t be a more fitting and perfect celebration of pets and a clear inspiration of why we need to give back to all those pets in need. The horses, kitten, baby bunny and several of the dogs featured in the portraits were all ones who arrived at Blue Cross in a time of need and we will always be there to give back to pets as they do so much to enrich our lives,” she said.

“Through our rehoming, low-cost veterinary, behavioural and pet bereavement services we know acutely how rich the roles are pets play in our individual and family lives and that is why we need to be there for them when they desperately need our help.”

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