"Seeing this wonderful photograph of a mare and its foal on face book recently, brought back memories of a very special horse and person whom I was once privileged to meet.
Many years ago in the mid 90's, a school teacher from Dalton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire had a farmer friend in Mirfield whose Quarterhorse gave birth to twin foals. It is both a rarity and a danger for a mare to give birth to twins, and one of the foals was born dead and the second, small and weak. The mare was unable to feed her surviving foal and it looked like the colt would die.
As the owner had a farm to maintain unassisted, she couldn't possibly feed the newborn colt hourly from a bottle as well as perform her other tasks. Her school teacher friend came to her rescue and during the entire six-week term of the summer school holidays, her teacher friend lived with the colt in the stables day and night and fed it hourly from a bottle.
The upshot was that the colt survived for a number of years despite having to undergo many operations. The owner and her schoolteacher friend who'd struggled to save the colt's life refused to follow the vet's advice and before it eventually had to be put to sleep, over £20,000 of their money was spent attempting to give the horse a more normal existence. Its name was 'Midnight Fighter.'
When I first came across this story it was around Christmas time and the story of the birth and love in a stable struck a seasonal cord within me. I was so moved by the love and dedication of the Dalton school teacher that I wrote a children's book called 'Midnight Fighter' in memory of the love that can exist between a human and a creature in want of sustenance.
'Midnight Fighter' was then published to raise money for children and young persons with cerebral palsy and the story was professionally recorded, accompanied by musical backing for the purposes of radio transmission to schools. The book is available in e-book format entitled, 'Fighter' from www.smashwords.com or in hard copy from www.amazon and www.lulu.com with all profits going to charity. The lately deceased magician, Paul Daniels also recorded the story for charitable purposes. It is suitable for the 5-9 year old reader.
The story can also be freely heard in the audio section of my website by following the link below when it was professionally recorded for radio transmission, accompanied by background music." William Forde: April 8th, 2016.