Two colts, just a few months old, were rescued two hours before they were due to be euthanised.

George and Gilbert were found abandoned in a farmer’s field in Somerset.

Terrified and unhandled, they were discarded. Desperate phone calls were made to find them a temporary shelter but time was running out. The pair, through no fault of their own, were on a death sentence.

Until local smallholder Nina Harris heard the news.

“We were really up against the wire and I was exhausted by the time they arrived," she said.

"It was a real rollercoaster. There was literally no one able to take them in locally and they were really frightened.

“I was able to offer shelter temporarily but I was full myself! We just couldn’t let these gorgeous youngsters die. Their lives had only just started.”

Nina contacted Mare & Foal Sanctuary and, before too long, George and Gilbert were stabled in the quarantine yard of the Sanctuary’s Beech Trees Welfare and Veterinary Clinic.

They were quarantined for two weeks to stop the spread of contagious diseases such as Strangles.

Nina said: “It was a huge relief for all of us. They are such lovely characters and they really deserved a chance. During their time with us we came to realise George and Gilbert were really special.”

The young colts, nicknamed 'the coblets' by Sanctuary's staff, are now out of quarantine.

Sanctuary's head of equine, Sally Burton, said: “Very often abandoned ponies need shelter quickly and local sanctuaries can be full. George and Gilbert were really lucky that we had quarantine stables become available.

“Both ponies are now doing really well and are relaxing into their new lives. They are the lucky ones and can look forward to a bright future.”

The colts are being looked after by the Sanctuary’s Horse Care Team. A groom is allotted to each pony to get them used to being handled and to trust again.

It is hoped that they will one day go on to find loving new homes.