The arrival of the first foal of 2020 at an equine welfare charity in Britain has been captured on film.
The arrival of Lotte’s foal comes at a time when The Mare and Foal Sanctuary, based in Newton Abbot, has already made significant adjustments during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Lotte was rescued as the result of an RSPCA prosecution case. Her colt, named Lio, was born on Thursday, April 23, and mother and son are doing well. The pair join 220 resident horses and ponies who require the charity’s expert care at six sanctuaries across Devon.
More than half of the charity’s workforce are either working from home (13%) or have been furloughed (43%) since the Coronavirus crisis began as there has been a significant reduction in income.
This just leaves small teams of grooms going in each day to provide this expert care, working in split shifts so they don’t come into contact with each other. The sanctuary had stayed in contact with the yard teams via weekly webinars. This is in order to protect the NHS, and the health of staff and their families. It had also temporarily closed all six of its charity shops, but had introduced virtual coffee mornings and yard tours for supporters to stay connected. Staff had been liaising with the carers of 446 sanctuary horses in loan homes via phone and email.
The charity has launched a special appeal, reflecting on the work that must continue during this crisis. Chief Executive Sarah Jane Williamson, said the team was strong but the future was uncertain.
“We need help from our loyal supporters at this worrying time.
“Last year we rescued more horses than ever, in more complex circumstances. We don’t have extensive reserves and horses are costly animals to care for, especially ours which require specialist handling and retraining or ongoing veterinary medicines and care.”
Williamson said the team was thankful Lotte had given birth to her foal in the safety of the sanctuary. “She was in a very poor condition when she arrived and has needed our expert care.”