A woman is hoping to be reunited with a horse she feared was dead, after finding her alive and well on the internet.
Catriona Melvin, from Scotland, is planning to visit Bonnie the Clydesdale horse whom she cared for as a young foal, at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre in Tarporley, where she has been cared for since 1997.
Bonnie had been suffering from hoof abscesses and was on her way to a slaughter house when Alistair King, owner of the Cotebrook Centre, spotted her potential as a breeding mare and bought her.
His instinct proved right because just two years later, Bonnie gave birth to a foal, Cotebrook Loch Maree, that went on to be the 2004 Female National Champion – becoming the most successful shire horse this century.
Janet King, who runs the centre with Alistair, said: “We spent two years tracing Bonnie’s pedigree. She is very precious to us and much loved by our visitors.
“It was great to hear from Catriona, we were delighted to fill her in on what Bonnie has been up to since she came to us and we cannot wait until we can reunite them, it will be a special day for us all.”
Catriona cared for Bonnie as a foal when she was working as an apprentice horsewoman with Dundee District Council.
Bonnie was sold to a local horseman and Catriona later heard she had been sold due to her abscess problems.
But last year she came across Bonnie’s name in a show listing in a magazine.
“I went straight on to the internet to search for Cotebrook and found it was her, I was so pleased as I didn't think she was still alive,” said Catriona.
“I am so pleased that she is doing well and has found a great home. She was always the best natured foal of the three we were caring for at the time.
“I have spoken to Alistair and Janet a lot since then, and met them when they visited Scotland recently and I can’t wait to visit Cheshire and see her, hopefully later this year.”