North Norfolk’s own Black Beauty invites public to birthday celebration

Maya has become a favourite with visitors. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Maya has become a favourite with visitors. Picture: Redwings Horse Sanctuary - Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Members of the public are invited to join a rescued horse called Maya, also known as 'Black Beauty' for her striking looks and triumph over adversity, at a special birthday party – just in time for the 140th anniversary of the famous book's publication.

Just like Black Beauty, who experienced hardships and cruelty at the hands of uncaring humans, Maya endured a harrowing start to her life before finding safety at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Aylsham.

The Friesian was rescued by Redwings in 2010 with six other horses that had been found in terrible condition on a site in Essex. Maya was left weak, anaemic and worm-ridden, and her muscles were wasting away.

Maya made a full recovery thanks to months of intensive veterinary care. Her former owner was also found guilty of causing suffering.

Her dazzling looks and friendly nature soon made her a favourite with visitors.

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As a tribute to her courage and the 140th birthday of the classic book, it's hoped fans of Black Beauty and its Norfolk-born author Anna Sewell will join Maya in celebrating her own birthday with a party at Redwings Aylsham, north of Norwich, on Sunday May 14.

On the big day, visitors will have the chance to enjoy cuddles with Maya, join in a quiz trail and party games, and watch her tuck into her very own birthday cake.

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Gemma Walpole, Redwings' Head of Fundraising, said: 'Maya is a stunning horse who, despite her past ordeal, is incredibly friendly and loving.

We hope as many people as possible will come along to Maya's birthday party to celebrate not just this lovely horse, but also a beautiful book and local author in this special year.'

Supporters can sponsor Maya for £12.50 a year, with funds going towards her daily care and that of her friends. Anyone who sponsors one of Redwings' 24 Adoption Stars can visit them for free on any open day at the centre.

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