A giant cuddly reindeer given in the kindest of spirits is being raffled off in aid of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary.

Donated to the Sanctuary by The Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs in February, the cuddly companion, nicknamed Cupid, will be raffled off at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s Visitor Centre near Totnes until December 21st.

The Chigwell Riding Trust, based in Essex, was given the reindeer by a local supporter, but staff said they were unable to use it for anything as it was too big to store. So they chose to donate it to the Sanctuary to help it raise money for its work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming horses in need.

Tracy Gray, The Mare and Foal Sanctuary Visitor Centre manager, said: “It’s such a kind donation and we are beyond touched that a charity all the way from Essex would choose to give this to us.

“We have received toys in the past to give to our orphan foals but the reindeer was too big for them so we decided to keep him for a Christmas raffle.

“As he was delivered around Valentine’s Day, we decided to call him Cupid and he has spent the past few months carefully wrapped up ready for the festive season. Now he has come out of storage and is fresh and ready to find a new home.

“If you’d like to win him, pop into our Visitor Centre or come and see us at the South West Equine Fair at Westpoint, Exeter on December 6th and 7th.”

Deborah Hall, manager of The Chigwell Riding Trust, said: “It was a very kind donation from one of our rider’s parents but unfortunately it was too big for us to do anything with.

“We gave it to The Mare and Foal Sanctuary to use however they’d like, and we wish them lots of luck with their future fundraising.”

For more information on The Mare and Foal Sanctuary visit www.mareandfoal.org call 01626 355969 or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @themareandfoal For more information on The Chigwell Riding Trust for Special Needs visit www.chigride.org.uk