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Fennel the horse taken in by Aldenham Country Park on Christmas Eve due to give birth
It echoes the Nativity story – it was Christmas Eve but Fennel the horse was left “knee deep in mud” after torrential rain, and had nowhere safe to give birth.
Her frantic owners made calls to farms all over the county to find someone to house their heavily pregnant pet before she went into labour – which they thought was imminent.
And finally, managers at Aldenham Country Park, in Dagger Lane, said taking care of the 16-year-old mare would be “no problem” and gave her a bed of hay to sleep on.
Three weeks since moving into her new home, the brown-haired horse has grown in confidence and is her due date has been moved forward to sometime this week.
It bears a striking resemblance to the Christmas story – when Mary found herself with nowhere to give birth to Jesus, but a kind innkeeper allowed her to stay in his stables.
Her owner said: “Fennel is usually kept in stables but after the downpour of rain, she was left knee-deep in mud and looked miserable.
“There was no way she could give birth there. I had to act fast given the time of year and was feeling very desperate.
“I am so grateful to Aldenham Country Park for taking her in, it really is amazing when you think about it because it is similar to the way baby Jesus was born and happened the same time.”
Since her arrival at the farm, children and adults have been captivated by her remarkable story and devoted fans regularly stop by to check on her progress.
The horse is described as being “fantastic with children” and has a calm and gentle temperament.
Park owners are now giving people the chance to name the new foal and are asking for people to submit suggestions.
Oliver Behzadi, park spokesman, said: “When we heard the horse needed a home we were more than happy to help out.
“She gets gifts and treats delivered to the park office constantly. We are now looking forward to her having her foal.”
What do you think the foal should be called? Post your ideas below.