Lauren’s mini-mule shocks equine world

Lauren Mosgrove with miniature Shetland pony Peaches and her rare foal Katie, a  miniature Shetland-donkey.
Lauren Mosgrove with miniature Shetland pony Peaches and her rare foal Katie, a miniature Shetland-donkey.

A Shetland pony from Jedburgh has been hitting headlines all over the world after giving birth to the world’s first mini-mule.

Peaches, a 12-year-old miniature Shetland pony, and her foal have been making waves in the equine world since the appearance of donkey-cross Katie in April.

Owner Lauren Mosgrove, 24, said: “The story has reached America and Australia. I never expected in a million years that would happen.”

At just two months old, celebrity mule Katie is now bigger than her mum.

“I have to keep my four-year-old away from her now because I’m scared she’ll knock him over,” Lauren said.

“She’s doing great. She’s a real character. She likes to chase people around, and she’ll jump anything. She jumped over the fence at four weeks old, and she just keeps jumping out, so I can’t have her in the garden anymore.”

Lauren got Peaches three years ago after she and partner Peter, 44, stepdaughter Paige, 11 and four-year-old Matthew moved from Galashiels to a house with stables in Jedburgh.

“I stumbled across three miniature mares and decided I had to buy them,” Lauren said.

“Peaches is amazing. She’s friendly, calm and trustworthy around children.”

Lauren discovered that Peaches was pregnant in March but says she was gob-smacked when Katie was born five weeks later.

The 30-inch miniature Shetland had been in a field with Donk the donkey, but Lauren thought it was impossible for the two to breed given Peaches’ dainty stature.

“We thought that the dad was my Shetland colt as he had broken through the fence on one occasion,” Lauren explained.

When she found Peaches in labour, Lauren ran to get Peter, but when she got back, Katie’s head was already sticking out.

“We thought the foal was stuck because Peaches was pushing, but she wasn’t coming out, then all of a sudden it was there, and it was a big black donkey,” she said.

“I knew as soon as I saw the ears and the nose that it was a donkey. We couldn’t believe it.

“She was bigger than a miniature Shetland foal would be by a lot. A miniature Shetland would be around 16in, and Katie was twice that size. We were totally gobsmacked.”

Although shocked by Katie’s appearance, the couple didn’t realise how rare she was until they spoke to their vet at Galedin in Kelso.

“When I told the vet he was gobsmacked too,” Lauren said. “I had to tell him twice. I don’t think he believed me at first. They’ve never dealt with anything like this or seen it. I think they were quite excited as they were up all the time.”

Named after Lauren’s late grandmother, Katie really is unique. “I think there’s one similar in the US, but it’s bred with a standard Shetland and not a miniature Shetland, so I think Katie is the only one of her kind,” Lauren said.

“It’s nice to have something a bit rare. I have been inundated with people messaging me asking how you do it and wanting to come and see her.

“I haven’t had anyone here because I don’t really want to say where we are. There were two Shetland ponies stolen earlier this month from Castle Douglas. They let them go and they were found near Carlisle, but it made me think I hope they weren’t trying to get mine and got the wrong ones.”

Instead she’s keeping everyone updated on Katie and Peaches’ latest antics on Facebook group Peaches Foal.

“Peaches is a fab mummy, and they’ve bonded really well,” added Lauren.

“They adore each other. Katie is on hard food now, but she feeds off her mum too. It’s quite funny.”