Mercer Island is home to a special baby animal. A cute little Fell pony named Zara was born on March 15th at 12:30 p.m. at the Mercer Island Funny Farm this year!
Fell ponies resemble draft horses but are smaller in nature, and bred in northern England. These animals have long been used for their strong hauling abilities and can carry three times their weight.
The farm, located on Island Crest Way, is not just Zara's home - but six other ponies and horses as well. Her mama is Bracken, a 5 1/2 year-old pony who arrived from England last November, already pregnant with little Zara.
Despite their cuteness, it's Zara and Bracken are important for other reasons as well. Fell ponies are sadly a dying breed here in the U.S. Jeni Ellison is a Lead Trainer at the farm, and says the whole point is to help re-invigorate the breed here. That's why they brought Bracken over from England.
With the addition of baby Zara to the farm, the facilities now have seven ponies/horses, a dog and two cats. The ponies and horses are encouraged to roam freely at the facility and baby Zara will to nurse for a year, while the other animals are grass-fed and provided fodder.
The Funny Farm is also home to Mary, a 24-year-old Dutch Warmblood horse and her daughter, Saffron along with ponies Clover, Dash and Py - a Welsh Pony Section B.
The 5-acre private property on the former Stevenson Farm property allows visitors to the farm! You are welcome to view baby Zara and Bracken from the public trail that runs along the side of the property. Guests are asked to stay in the public viewing areas and give the ponies space while also remaining calm and quiet.
The farm facilities have been designed by McClellan Architects and offer a modern PNW vibe. Ellison said the facility was currently working on obtaining insurance and business licensing so they can begin a riding lesson program with future plans to run day camps and kid gardening programs.
Until then, guests are welcome to watch baby Zara and her mom, Bracken as they frolic and play with their other foal friends.