COTEBROOK Shire Horse Centre has welcomed its first foal of 2013 – three days earlier than expected.

The filly is now almost a month old and is adjusting to life at the 50-acre centre alongside the other Shires and animals.

She will soon be joined by two other foals, the next of which is due on April 9, followed by the third on April 19.

Janet King, who runs the centre with husband Alistair, said: “As a working stud farm one of our main aims is to preserve the Shire breed for generations to come, so foaling is one of the most important things we do here.

“It is a very exciting time and we are pleased to say that both mother and foal are doing well. She is a beautiful foal and I’m sure she will be a big hit with our visitors.”

The newborn foal’s parents are Cotebrook Loch Torridon and Moorfield Edward – one of the world’s most prolific stallions.

Visitors will be able to name the foal during a special competition running throughout the Easter holiday.

Janet added: “Giving visitors the chance to name our foals is a tradition at Cotebrook and its always great fun to get the visitors more involved with what we do here.”