A PAIR of horses are as thick as thieves after they each went through a harrowing tragedy.
Young foal Promise was recently born at Brockfield Stables in Linton, but there were complications because she got stuck when her mother Sport was trying to push her out.
Helen Wark, with support from daughter Vanessa and brother Alan Sankey, managed to get Promise free, but despite trying all they could and calling out a vet, the difficult birth meant Sport had to be put down.
The Warks fed the foal with colostrum taken from the mother and put out a message on Facebook to see if anyone was willing to provide a foster mare.
A family in Rochdale then got in touch with them, as their horse Tilly had gone through a stillbirth and they were looking for a foal for her to look after.
Tilly was brought up to Northumberland and after a few days of helping them along, including Promise being covered in the foster mare’s natural foal’s skin, they are now inseparable and see each other as mother and daughter.
Helen said: “We could see that Sport wasn’t right as soon as we got Promise free and we tried everything we could to save her.
“We were devastated when she had to be put down.
“Our focus then turned to looking after Promise and we did manage to get a decent amount of colostrum from her natural mother, but we hoped that we could quickly find a foster mare.
“It was great to hear from the family in Rochdale and it turned out that they wanted her to be happy with a foal after her ordeal with the still birth as much as we wanted Promise to have a foster mare.
“It took three days and two nights for the foal to take to Tilly.
“The issue we had was that she didn’t have a proper drink from her natural mother, so she thought me and Vanessa were her mum and kept going to us for milk instead.
“We were ecstatic when they finally bonded and although at first we were helping to get Promise’s head in there, it now comes naturally to her and you can’t separate them at all.
“It’s great that they are helping each other after what they have been through and we’re pleased that our hard work over those few days paid off so well.”
Sport was a 15’3 standard bred and her father is a 16’3 Warmblood stallion from the Glenwood Stud International near Stamfordham.
It has become one of only a few studs in Britain to be awarded the coveted British Equestrian Federation’s ‘Breeder’s Quality Mark’ following a most stringent approval inspection of the stud in which every aspect of the business was assessed.
Tilly is a 14’2 coloured cob. She is set to return to the Rochdale family later in the year.
Promise will be taking part in shows in the coming months.
Helen praised the vet they called out, Phil Dyson from the Clevedale Veterinary Centre on Teesside, for coming up immediately and doing his best to save Sport before making sure Promise was fit and healthy.
She and Vanessa are heavily involved at the Bedlington, Blyth and District Riding Club, which runs equestrian events and training for horse riders in Northumberland.