New Year – New Life! Foals aplenty at the Irish National Stud!
16th Jan 2018
Valentines Day marks the start of the thoroughbred covering season in our hemisphere. Gestation for a horse is 11 months which means those early February trysts result in some January foals. Our first footsteps are anticipated any day now and the maternity wing of the farm is prepped and primed for the arrival of some 250-odd future racehorses.
TAKE A LOOK AT OUR NEW FOALING VIDEO WHICH SHOWS JUST HOW IT ALL WORKS.
Together they’ll foal all the mares that board in the farm (including Quevega!) and then around another 200 visiting mares, who arrive a few days before their due date. When their time is close, they’ll move into the delivery suite and be monitored closely until they start to show signs of foaling. Sometimes they’ll sweat up and pace their box, getting up and down until baby gets into position. Other mares will simply get down and start foaling which can take between 5 and 20 minutes.
Most foals will arrive in hours of dark as nature dictates, and the busiest month in March when several foals can arrive in a day! Thus the team can be busy so are ably assisted by our residential students and other members of the team as required, with the vet on call 24-hours in case of any issues.
Quevega’s strapping son – born last year.
Once they are safely out, the mum and baby will be given some special bonding time before being encouraged to stand and nurse – usually within the hour. The next morning, the vet will check all the vital signs and ensure all is well. Before long, the new arrival will be taking its first look around our nursery paddocks and quickly learning to dash around behind the mare!
The foals can be viewed here at the stud from when we open, Monday 12th February.