Harpenden woman surprised after pony gives birth to a mule

6 day old Daisy (right) standing next to one of the mares.

6 day old Daisy (right) standing next to one of the mares. - Credit: Archant

April meant more than showers for a riding school owner after her mare went into labour with unexpected results.

Pennie Cornish, yard owner at Greenacres Equestrian and riding school centre on the outskirts of Harpenden, went to Ireland in February to buy the school a pony, called April.

Six weeks later Pennie discovered that the mare was pregnant and thought it would be months before she gave birth.

But last Friday morning, (20) April gave birth - to a mule. The newborn, a cross between a horse and a donkey, has been named Daisy.

Pennie, who breeds and trains competition horses, said: “When I found out she was pregnant I thought, knowing my luck she will have a mule, and she did.

“The mare is called April, so when the foal was born I had to check the date because I thought it was April Fool’s.

“I never expected for one minute that she would ever be a mule.”

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Daisy is also almost albino and was blind when she was born. The following day she was able to see and has now been adopted as Greenacres’ yard mascot.

Pennie said: “She couldn’t see for the first day and we thought that she was going to have to be put down.

“Because she is almost albino, perhaps it had taken longer for her eyes to adjust.”

Daisy will now be kept for life at the equestrian centre, which has been in the Cornish family for more than 30 years. The riding school also has around 1,000 members, and some have already met the unexpected new arrival.

Pennie hopes to set up a Facebook page for the foal to try and raise some money for charity. She plans to the Herts County Show to try and fundraise for causes such as Cancer Research, with Daisy’s help.

Daisy, who is described as having ears “as big as her face”, is now six days old and has enjoyed running through the fields She is still too young to be introduced to the other horses.

Pennie added: “She’s so lively, she runs the others ragged and is desperate to play with the other foals.

“Maybe we will break her in and it’ll be a show jumping mule.

“All the horses are very fascinated, it’s just unique.”