Mother’s Day was not the day of rest and relaxation Lucy Procter might have planned – but the unusual daytime foalings were special to the team.
Foals, foals and more foals, but before we get onto the foals, we have to talk about Honeysuckle. In the middle of March the TGS-bred mare won her second Champion Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival and by
so doing, became the first mare ever to have scored twice in the championship race’s 95-year history.
To give our hardworking team the opportunity to see Honeysuckle in the flesh, we sent them all to Cheltenham on the Tuesday, with the hope they would be shouting her home. With the staff having come
in early and rattled through morning stables, they were off shortly after 10 o’clock, leaving the bosses at home to enjoy Honeysuckle’s triumph on the television before finishing up for the afternoon.
Mother’s Day gifts
And so, to foals! Most mares foal during the night and the staff don’t see them until they are a few hours old after they arrive at work in the morning.
Occasionally a mare will foal during the day. In last month’s column I wrote about sharing the culmination of the dream with the staff when they all came to Wincanton to watch TGS-bred Last Royal’s win. Now, during March, our staff have been able to share the beginning of the dream, with two mares having foaled in the morning before coffee break, and a third having foaled around tea-time.
The afternoon foaler was in fact one of four mares to foal on Mother’s Day – literally no rest for new
mums (or the bosses) here at TGS!
The foals are happily enjoying the dry weather and sunshine. The new foals go out for an hour twice a
day for the first few days, and only in the paddock right by the yard. The older ones go further up the
farm for a longer period, before they’re all back in a warm, dry straw bed for the night.
Last month we talked about Glanvilles Guest visiting her chosen stallion with this year’s foal at foot. Two weeks after she was covered (mated), we were delighted when our vet scanned her in foal – and even happier when she scanned with a heartbeat two weeks after that. The mare will have one final scan at 45 days after covering, to check that the pregnancy is progressing normally and that will be the last check until stallion fees are due in the autumn. We scan to confirm that our mares are all still in foal on 1st October (a horse’s gestation period is 11-12 months). Three other mares have also scanned in foal this month, so the
season is progressing well.
A Poet-ic double win
To put a cherry atop our March cake, our daughter Alice rode her first point-to-point winner at Larkhill, which then became a double, in somewhat unusual circumstances. Her horse in the first, Golden Poet, was the only declaration so they won with a ‘walkover’ (in racing, if there is only one runner in a race, that horse still has to go onto the track and cross the finish line, hence the term ‘walkover’). Golden Poet was also entered in the last race of the day, which turned out to be a ‘match’ (two runners), which Golden Poet won by 25 lengths, under an excellent ride from Alice for trainer Keiran Burke. We all hope these are the first of many.
by Lucy Procter, co-owner of The Glanvilles Stud (TGS), shares her diary of life on a Thoroughbred stud.