Champion horse Topper took the ducklings under his wing well, hoof after allowing their mother, Lola, to lay a dozen eggs in his stable.
He kept watch over them for a month before they hatched and then scared away foxes and dogs that got too close.
Far from being upset, Topper really likes his little duck family, said Kim Stevens, yard manager at the stables in Milland, West Sussex.
He was in and out of the stable all the time but every time he came back in, the first thing he did was look around to make sure they were still there.
It is thought Lola moved in with Topper after her last lot of eggs were eaten by a fox. Before the new batch hatched, staff moved them to a safe corner of the straw so Topper, who was recently ridden to victory at the British Open Indoor Cross Country, did not accidentally squash them.
Now the wonder horse is facing up to empty-nest syndrome. Lola recently moved to a nearby pond, with the lucky ducklings trailing behind her.
Horse adopts family of ducklings | Metro.co.uk