AN ORPHANED foal has officially been named after a public competition by the Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre.

The foal, one of several to be born at the centre earlier this year, has been named Loch Hope by Melanie Forest, 39.

It is customary for the centre to ask the public to name their newborn foals after Scottish mountains and lakes, and they have had their best ever response this year, with more than 50 entries of name suggestions.

Loch Hope’s mother died two days after she was born and the young horse was nursed back to health by Alistair King, who runs the centre with his wife Janet, and by other centre staff who fed her every two hours day and night.

Alistair, 63, even slept in his car near her stables to be nearer to the foal.

And two other young horses born around the same time have also been named as Loch Fern, by Thomas Johnson from Pennyfordd, and Loch Fyne, by Holly Spotforth from Heswall.

Janet King said: “It is wonderful to finally give our foals a name, and as usual the public came up with some wonderful entries.

“Despite her rocky start Loch Hope is doing very well and is settling into life at the centre.”