Viable twin foals are rare. Only about 1 in 10,000 horses have twins, and even fewer of the animals survive birth. Carrying twins endangers the lives of the mare and her foals, as mares simply aren’t made to nourish two offspring at once. Survival rates are poor.
However, the mare in this story, Daisy, defied the odds.
Daisy is a beautiful mare who became pregnant with her very first foal. Seven days past her due date, she finally went into labor.
Jenni, her owner, was ecstatic that Daisy was going to deliver her first babe. As the owner and founder of Saratoga Stud in South Africa, Jenni is passionate about her horses and cares deeply for them. Daisy was one of her most beloved mares.
The night Daisy went into labor, the night watch at the stables, William, notified Jenni and her coworker Guy, and they hurried in. Soon enough, a beautiful palomino colt they dubbed Don Quixote was born.
He was smaller than they expected, which struck them as off since Daisy was a large horse herself. But he was healthy and beautiful.
After a little while, Don Quixote started to try to stand, which was a great sign. Foals typically attempt to stand within 30 minutes after birth.
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William helped Don Quixote practice standing while Guy began cleaning the stables. Daisy was nudging her babe and getting to know him.
That’s when Jenni and Guy noticed something was odd about Daisy’s afterbirth.
Jenni’s dogs started barking and getting riled up.
Jenni checked on Daisy and realized that not only was she going into labor again, but the second foal was in breech position.
“I felt inside her and felt two feet,” Jenni said. “Guy got back to the stables and I told him to pull out the second baby as quickly as possible and with me catching her.”
Daisy seemed to be focused on Don Quixote and not on foal she was trying to give birth to, but soon enough the foal arrived.
“Our hearts stopped watching to see if the second foal would be alive and she was!! She was breathing…”
The second foal was named Duet, and though she was small and weaker than her brother, she had spunk. She tried standing within minutes of being born!
They kept a close eye on the two foals for the next few days, and Daisy in particular. But they remained healthy, miraculously beating the odds stacked against their survival.
After several weeks, they began adventuring out of the stable with their mama.
“They weren’t out for long and everyday we stretched their time out,” Jenni said. “Now they go out with other mares and their foals and the twins stick together like glue – when a new mare comes near they run to Daisy who has a very big presence in the paddock and nobody messes with her babies…”
These horses are just beautiful to watch! Check out the twins and Daisy as they enjoy the great outdoors in this video!
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.