A MAGNIFICENT shire horse who lost her foal last year gave birth to a beautiful filly last week.

Shire horse Silver has waited 12 months to celebrate baby joy after the heart-break of losing her foal in 2023.

Farmer Rob Nicholson, whose family operates Cannon Hall Farm where Silver lives, said: “I’m so pleased for Silver – after what she went through last year it is such a relief. You can’t tell me animals don’t know because she knew.

"Her disappointment when she lost her foal was palpable and I will never forget that sadness. Compare that to 12 months later and what you have is a scene of pure joy.”

Cannon Hall Farm is a Shire Horse Society breeding centre and is part of a nationwide conservation effort to protect the number of Shire Horses in the UK after numbers declined to just a few hundred.

Siver’s filly foal is a great step towards increasing those numbers, as she comes from impressive bloodlines.

Rob added: “It’s been a really tense time. When she lost her foal last year it was heart-breaking and we just didn’t want it to happen again. We have CCTV in her pen so we could monitor her all through the night and make sure we were ready to help her if she needed it. Typically, she waited for the one day I wasn’t at home. It was 4am and I’d stopped at a service station, I checked the CCTV and saw she was in labour so rang to send help straight away. I was able to watch on the CCTV and it was really a tense moment. These animals are rare breeds for a reason – they are hard work.”

Silver’s loss of her foal last year prompted a nationwide search to find a foster foal for her to mother. Through the power of social media, Cannon Hall Farm found Cannon Ball, her adopted son, who still lives at the Barnsley tourism attraction.

Rob added: "Cannon Ball, her foster son from last year, is in the next pen looking on and it is all part of life's rich tapestry. We are so fortunate to be able to experience things like this and this is certainly going to be a lovely foal of the future. And Silver is looking just fantastic - she looks like she’s stepped right out of a shampoo advert.”

Silver and her foal are currently living in the roundhouse where visitors can see them.