Coteau Grove receives ‘gift’ of healthy twin foals
Staff at Coteau Grove Farms in Louisiana received the gift of a lifetime on April 3 when their mare Villa d’Este foaled not one, but two healthy foals per Present box .
In the months leading up to the birth, broodmare manager Jacob Cyprian said the mare’s size caused them to question her due date.
“We’ve been watching her since January, we knew she wasn’t due until early April… We were like, ‘Dude, she’s so big,’ so we just started watching and watching her,” Cyprien says. “We never knew they were twins. When she got full, we always thought she only had one.”
“(We thought) the date might be wrong, so we started going back, trying to see what was going on, and we were right (about the due date). When she started to getting closer, we just kept an eye on her and she was just getting really slow and really heavy. I said, ‘Well, she’s going to be leaving soon.'”
When the mare went into labor, Cyprien was there, as well as the assistant manager of the farm.
“The first one came…then the assistant manager said, ‘She’s got another one,'” Cyprian said. “Of course we saw that the front hooves were coming out and she (foaled) the second foal. We were all shocked.
“I phoned the vet and when I told him he was like ‘What?’ I said, ‘Yes, we have twins.’ He said ‘Really?’ I’m like, ‘Really, we have twins.
Villa had two foals early this morning. Both standing and nursing
— Coteau Grove Farms (@CoteauGrove) April 3, 2022
To Cyprien’s amazement, the two foals came out healthy and got up quickly. The mare has also recovered well.
“The (good) thing about it was that they were both strong. They were both fighting to get up very quickly. It shocked us all because everything went well,” Cyprian said. “Mom was a little weak, but after that she showed up and everything was fine. We’ve had a crazy season, and that just adds to that.”
Cyprian said farm staff will be keeping an eye on the mare and making decisions based on how she feels over the next few days as decisions may need to be made to ensure both foals receive the nutrients they need while keeping the mare healthy. .
“What we’re going to do is watch and see (if she can take care of the two foals),” he said. “If she can’t, we’re going to get her a foster mare to help her get some relief. We’re going to try to make sure she gets everything she needs and we’re going to make sure we keep those babies in good health.”
Although this rare event ended in a happy ending, it is not typical of twin pregnancies in horses.
According to Dr. Chris Newton, DVM and shareholder of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., these situations can be very dangerous and usually involve veterinary intervention.
“The twin rate of mares is about 14 percent, which means about 14 percent of pregnancies will have twins,” Newton said. “Most of the time we reduce this by manually ablating (removing) a fetus before 16 days … And almost always, if this is not checked, the mare will abort the pregnancy (or) end up with severe dystocia (slow or difficult birth) which could lead to the death of the mare and the foals.”
Cyprien and others at the farm are grateful to have their surprise twins healthy and in good condition.
“When I tell you healthy, they’re strong, they have great bones,” Cyprian said. “One of them was a bit smaller than the other, but it was no worse than a young mare with a baby. They will definitely manage and they will be very nice foals.”
Villa d’Este and her twin Gift Box foals
Coteau Grove Farms in Sunset, Louisiana was founded in 2008 by Keith and Ginger Myers.
Villa d’Este is reserved for farm breeders No parole for the 2022 season. Cyprian said he is looking forward to the match, but they will give the mare ample time to recover before she returns to the breeding shed.
“It’s a big deal for us,” he said. “No parole was our first Grade 1 winner for the farm. This is our first baby we’ve raised to be a Grade 1 winner… We’re going to give him time to recover… What we’re going to do is watch her really well and the vet will make a decision. When he feels she’s ready, then we’ll go with it.”