Our blog post of March 10 reported on a spate of four babies, then we spent three weeks waiting and watching for mares to foal. We had lots of guests at the B&B and the babies on board were developing as they should, and they saw the farrier for the first time.
It’s interesting to watch the farrier visits because we get to see each foal out of the stall, walking in the shed row so that the farrier can evaluate his or her walk. He’s looking to see if there are any issues with the way the baby’s hoofs hit the ground with each step. A good farrier is an artist, who can help the baby’s development by the way he trims his or her feet. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’ll remind you that there is a lot of artistry, knowledge and experience that goes into raising successful racehorses. Then we just have to pray for an equal amount of (good) LUCK.
Meanwhile, we watched Dancing Band and Miss Dixie Rose (who were both due about March 12) watch us back, while waddling in and out of the barn each morning and afternoon. Finally on April 1st, when some of you were playing practical jokes on each other, Dancing Band decided to deliver a nice Orb colt just after dinner at 9:15 PM.
Quick reminder that Orb is the royally bred (by Malibu Moon, out of a mare descended from a sister to the great racemare Ruffian) Bourbon County colt foaled and raised across the road from us at Claiborne Farm…the winner of what I like to call the “Bourbon County Kentucky Derby” in 2013 — when 25% of the KY Derby starting field was born and raised within five miles of each other in Bourbon County.
Dancing Band 17 was not a big boy upon arrival, but he is beautiful and loves to peek around his mama. I love his markings — two small snippets of white — one on his forehead and the other on the tip of his nose. He is starting out a little small, but in his mind he is a Mighty Force to be reckoned with. And Chuck would agree that he is a handful going in and out of the barn.
A couple of days later, Miss Dixie Rose decided not to wait for our nightwatchman Chris to get to work (he’s on from 8 PM to 6 AM). At 6:30 PM, I had just finished checking my last guests for the evening into the B&B when Chuck called, saying “Miss Dixie Rose is going to have her baby, come to the barn and help”. When I got there, Chuck said the baby was in the right position, but because of its size, Miss Dixie would appreciate a little assistance with her delivery.
Soon, we had a big filly by Strong Mandate. As you can see, Miss Dixie Rose is a very loving mama. She takes after her mama when it comes to mothering skills. She was also very happy to be rewarded with several mints
Friday the 7th was opening day at Keeneland…a very exciting time in the Bluegrass. I think the mares got in the spirit, as at 12:10 AM the day before D’Chili Pepper delivered a colt by Shakin It Up. He was trying to stand up within 20 minutes and finally made it up within 45 minutes. She did a great job cleaning him up. After he was stable on his legs, he decided to clean her shoulder…or was he confused as to which end he needed to find??
The next night, at the distinctly uncivil hour of 3:30 AM, Malibu Gem decided it was her turn. With little notice, just like last year, she delivered a filly by Tizway that weighed in at 125 lbs. [And, yes, the photographic abilities of yours truly decrease during early morning hours!!!]
Her owners think she has a big head start on the Spendthrift Filly Race. We hope so, but in this barn we have three Goldencents fillies who all want to be there as well!
Back to the beautiful Malibu Gem 17… she is soooo cute and was very tenacious about getting up on her legs — which she accomplished in about thirty minutes.
They were both quite content to rest after the delivery. When Chris fed the colostrum by bottle, Mama was all for it. Our newest Goldencents baby was determined to get his legs under him, but they were so long that it took a little more time than he liked. He was showing frustration before finally getting up and bouncing around. Can we say “overachiever”?
We then had a night off, but only one. Bellezza Rosso decided it was her turn. She did take pity on us and delivered a Goldencents filly at 11:07 PM. Her babies have an attitude from the very start, and this one was no exception.
This young lady has beautiful markings. She’s a chestnut, like Mama, and has long white socks like Mama. Mama has a nice blaze, but this filly’s blaze is even bigger and more beautiful. She’s a looker, for sure. When Mama was cleaning her up, baby girl just wanted her to hurry up. I think we will be working on patience with this one.
As you can see, the first nine days of April were very busy at Rosecrest Farm. The B&B guests enjoyed being told almost every morning that, “There’s another baby at the barn.” Those new furry faces that are still a little wobbly on their legs are absolutely precious.
I wish I could say all went perfectly during these nine days, but unfortunately I cannot. We have one mare who was not so lucky. Her foal did not make it, and I cannot tell you how devastated we all were with this. But as her owners reminded us, some days are tough. That night certainly was and we can only pray for a safe and successful foaling season for the rest.
With this, I am reminded that the farm is a wonderful place but, as in life, there are bad days, even worse days, but then there are good days, great days and exceptional days. I pray for good days. My daily prayers actually include, “Please keep all the horses and cats on the farm healthy and safe.”
“All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.”