A schoolgirl's heartfelt letter has convinced mobile phone company '3' to save her beloved horse after she discovered a marking identical to the company's logo on its neck.
Phoebe Bone, 11, was faced with losing her nine-month-old foal because her parents could not afford to keep him.
Parents Melanie, 39, and Lee, 42, were shocked to find their new horse Lily was pregnant.
Magic number: Phoebe Bone, with her horse, Bertie, bearing the '3' marking on its neck. Phoebe wrote to mobile phone company '3' asking for financial support to help with the upkeep of the foal
Having used their savings to buy Lily, the couple soon realised they could not afford to keep the horse and her foal, Bertie.
Bertie would have had to go up for sale during a time when few people can afford to take on a horse and some owners have even had their animals put down.
Phoebe wrote a moving letter to bosses at '3', telling them about her special 'number three' horse and begging them to save him.
She wrote: 'He [Bertie] is really sweet and funny and I love him so much.
Phoebe suggested the company use Bertie in their adverts, she even offered to wear the company logo while competing with him at show jumping events
'I know that I said that I would sell him but I can't, not now. Now that I have got to know him and he is really good for me.
'Everybody says that he has good manners for a foal and they say that it is because of the way that I am with him.
'My Mum and Dad do not have lots of money, my Dad is a plasterer and my Mum doesn't work because she looks after my brother.
'I would really like to keep Bertie but I don't think that my Mum and Dad can afford it.
'I was wondering if you would like to use his pictures in your adverts or if you would like to sponsor him and maybe pay something towards his stable and feed which is about 35 pounds per week.'
Bosses at '3' were so moved by Phoebe's letter they came to her rescue, volunteering the £1000 stable fee for Bertie.
The money she received is enough to keep Bertie in stables for a year, after which Phoebe will have to find other means to raise money to keep her treasured horse
The little foal is now something of a celebrity, trotting around his yard in a unique blanket designed especially for him by the mobile phone company.
Phoebe said she would have been devastated if she had had to sell Bertie.
She said: 'From the day Bertie was born I felt like I had a special bond with him and Lily.
'I was the only one in the stables Lily would let come near them - I'm sure she thought other people would take Bertie away.
'But she trusted me and when mum and dad said we'd have to sell Bertie I couldn't do it.'
Phoebe had been given Lily as a surprise early birthday present by her parents in March 2008.
Mr Bone, a plasterer, and full-time mother Mrs Bone, admitted they were not wealthy people but could just about afford to buy and keep one horse for their daughter.
Three's company: Within just two weeks of writing the letter, '3' had replied offering to give Phoebe £1,000 towards stable fees as well as a grooming kit and set of blankets for the foal
Mrs Bone said: 'At first we thought her interest in horses was a bit of a phase - she'd been to dancing lessons and gymnastics and had given them both up.
'But horse riding was different - Phoebe was really dedicated.'
The couple, who also have a son, Billy, four, spent £1700 for Lily and £60 a week to keep the horse in stables near the family home in Romford, Essex.
Mrs Bone said: 'It was clear Phoebe was very dedicated to horse riding - she would spend hours after school and at the weekends with the horses at the stables.
'We weren't so worried about the cost of the horse but we were concerned about the cost of keeping it.'
The couple were stunned when an ultrasound revealed the tiny foal's heartbeating alongside Lily's.
Mrs Bone said: 'Lee and I were both shocked - everyone was saying how lovely it was but we didn't think it was lovely - the costs had just doubled!'
The couple regretfully suggested selling Bertie but Phoebe had become so attached to the tiny foal she couldn't bear to see him go.
And, after noticing the special 'three' marking on his neck, she had a brainwave.
The dedicated youngster wrote a long heartfelt letter to '3' explaining her parents couldn't afford to keep Bertie and she needed help.
Phoebe suggested the company use Bertie in their adverts, she even offered to wear the company logo while competing with him at show jumping events.
And within just two weeks, the company had replied offering to give Phoebe £1,000 towards stable fees as well as a grooming kit and set of blankets for the foal.
The sum is enough to keep Bertie in stables for a year, after which Phoebe will have to find other means to raise money to keep her treasured horse.
So far she has raised £500 of her own money through a car-boot sale and working at the stables.
Mrs Bone said: 'We weren't expecting it at all - Phoebe is just over the moon that she's going to be able to bring up Bertie as her own.
'Not many children get to do what she is doing - it's a great opportunity for her.
'Bertie is a lovely horse and you can just tell Phoebe is really in love with him - it makes me glad we didn't sell him.'
Phoebe added: "I feel really lucky that the company has decided to sponsor Bertie - they must have people contacting them all the time.
'I am really looking forward to looking after him and teaching him new things.
'I know it's going to be a lot of hard work but I don't mind it and Bertie is clever, he picks things up really quickly."
Sarah Pope, Spokeswoman for '3', said: 'We fell in love with Bertie as soon as we saw him and the fact that he has a 3 logo meant we had even more reason to help Miss Bone out.
'We hope the embroidered blankets and riding gear will make Miss Bone a very proud horse owner and help her achieve her dream of becoming a champion show jumper.'