STANDING just 18 inches high and with hooves smaller than egg cups, Muffin is the smallest foal ever to be born at a Monmouth horse hospital.

The colt foal, born to a miniature Shetland pony named Belle, arrived in the world on June 26 and is the latest arrival born at the farm in St Maughan, near Monmouth, which is the base of the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies.

The animal charity, run by Jenny MacGregor, MBE, cares for abandoned horses and ponies.

Sian Lloyd, one of the charity’s volunteers, said Belle was found abandoned in a farmer’s field in March by a member of the public who took her in and contacted the charity for help.

She said: “It was soon realised that Belle was in foal and she delivered the smallest foal ever to be born at Coxstone.”

“His personality is already showing. He isn’t shy and will come right up to you. His little hooves are no larger than an egg cup. He and mum Belle are now doing very well.” Mrs Lloyd said the charity currently has already delivered several foals with five more to come.

She added: It’s like a maternity ward on the farm. We have never had so many expectant foals.

“Perhaps there is something in the water or there is a maternal instinct in the air with the Royal baby due shortly.”

In May, Mrs MacGregor, 81, saved the lives of a mare and foal by delivering the foal on her own for the first time in 70 years. Then another mare named Cyndi, who was in a dreadful state, delivering Max during the night. Muffin followed two days later.

Muffin made his first public appearance, along with all rescued horses and ponies at the charity’s annual summer open day on Sunday.

For more information about the charity, visit