A horse blind in one eye and once due to be put down has been nurtured back to health and will make an appearance to mark the Grand National this weekend.

Rue the horse had been suffering with an infection in his left eye for a number of years which had caused him significant pain and seven months ago his owner thought there was no option but to have him destroyed.

Elaine Cooper and Bob Bassey, who share the horse, which lives in Slade Farm, in Butterfly Lane, Elstree, agreed to take ownership of Rue and raised £800 for an operation to remove the infected eye and save his life.

Miss Cooper, who lives in Colindale said: “When I first found out Rue was going to be shot I was really upset.

“But after the tears, his owner was kind enough to let me have him and after a couple of months scraping together the money we were able to pay for the surgery.

“I’m so happy we were able to save him. He’s a great horse and after the operation to take his eye out he was just so much happier and calmer.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped get us this far so we could keep Rue with us.”

Rue now spends his days at Slade Farm, where Miss Cooper takes him for long rides in the county.

As a celebration of his remarkable recovery and to mark the Grand National, Rue will be making a guest appearance at Ladbrokes in Leeming Road, Borehamwood, on Saturday for people to meet him and feed him a carrot or two.