The Guesthouse was bustling this past weekend as it was chosen as the destination for a reunion of TriDelts from Iowa State University. Eight of the ten checked in Thursday, toured the farm and met all the 26 babies on the ground.
They had a lot of compassion for the two mares still waiting to foal — Mamboalot and Rose of Siena. Many of them are mothers and the mares’ bulging bellies made them wince in remembrance. As with most guests staying here, they were hoping both would deliver during their stay, so they could join in the celebration of a new foal.
Well, on Saturday morning Mamboalot made their wishes come true when she delivered a beautiful filly by Pioneerof the Nile. [Yes, this time it really WAS by Pioneerof the Nile. 🙂 ] As you may know, American Pharoah is by Pioneerof the Nile. I thought, “I need to get a bet down since the Preakness is this afternoon and this little girl by Pioneerof the Nile arrived this morning.” Didn’t happen.
The girls were ecstatic to see the new baby and Mamboalot was a proud Mama and willing to let everyone get a good look at her filly. As one group was admiring the cutie pie, I told them, “Stay a little longer, if you can, and watch the baby try to remember how to lay down.” The girls looked at me quizzically, but they stayed and enjoyed seeing baby’s dilemma.
As I’ve mentioned on my blog before, instinct tells foals from birth how to get up, but is not as strong for laying down the first day or two. They know their legs bend, and somehow fold underneath them, but they just can’t quite remember how to do it!
They started Friday with a private tour of Keeneland, and breakfast at the Track Kitchen, that Karyn Pirrello does for a number of our guests. This included a stop to see Rosecrest’s homebred “mint hound” also known as “Miss Noble Rose” now in training with Phil Simms. They can’t wait for the Breeders’ Cup this October at Keeneland, and show off their newfound expertise during the telecast!
They made a quick stop at another horse farm where one of them had worked and then headed on to Woodford Reserve, where they thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful setting and knowledgeable guide….not to mention the bourbon tasting lesson at the end. They returned to the farm, had time for a quick change before heading out for dinner.
This time of year Mother Nature has a way of painting the landscape with the most brilliant shade of green grass you have ever seen. This particular evening, she also treated us to a beautiful rainbow.
Rainbow photographed, they headed into Paris’ Rooster Brew to dine from the Cajun Foodtruck and enjoy the evening. I’m told the decibel level got pretty high.
Most of the girls had never been to KY and immediately fell in love with the Bluegrass. They made a point to leave Rooster Brew before it got dark so that the newcomers could see Rosecrest in the waning light, which was sweet. There on the back porch they surprised one of the Deltas with champagne and a birthday cake her husband had arranged for me to provide from Lil’s. By their own admission, the Birthday Song was a bit off key and Chuck worried they were going to scare the horses.
The next day, after breakfast and a brief visit with the new baby, they enjoyed a tour of Claiborne Farm, had lunch at Lil’s, shopped Downtown Paris despite a pouring rainstorm, seemed to thoroughly enjoy my Mint Julep Lesson (and the resulting Mint Juleps), posed for a group photo on the front porch, watched American Pharoah win the Preakness and capped off their visit with a delicious dinner at Bour-Bon.
So, we had 27 foalings done and one last mare to go — Rose of Siena. Our nightwatchman Alex called us about 11:30 pm Saturday, said Siena was pacing and sweating. Chuck said okay, he’d be up. He was out the door and I followed just behind. When I got to the barn, Chuck was in the stall with Alex, he yelled for me to hold her halter so Alex could help him.
Even I could tell something was very wrong.
We started walking her to slow down the contractions. Chuck called our vet, who immediately called another vet who lives nearby. Chuck and I ran out to hook up the horse trailer. By the time we got that done, Siena was making no progress and now not wanting to walk anymore. Chuck’s medical background kicked into overdrive and he decided we could not to wait for the vet to arrive.
We got Siena into the trailer, Alex rode in the back with her, and I followed getting to the hospital in record time. Our vet had called ahead so that as soon as we arrived to Hagyard-Davison-McGee Veterinary Hospital, about five people ran out to the trailer.
This was very fortunate for us because at this point Siena was down in the trailer. The surgeon, Laura Werner, joined Chuck in the trailer and I heard her say, “Chuck, it doesn’t look good.” They did an emergency cesarean, got the baby (a filly by Warrior’s Reward) into the clinic and she started breathing.
Siena did not make it.
We went with baby to her stall and stayed till things looked good, she was strong and not needing any oxygen. The doctors thought she would be just fine so we left as they were getting ready to tube milk into her. They said they would call for a nurse mare first thing in the morning.
Rose of Siena was a 6-year-old mare by Pulpit, out of Matchoftheday, who is a half-sister to champion PLEASANT STAGE and stakes winners COLONIAL PLAY, STAGE COLONY and FULL STAGE, and at least three of her half-sisters are dams of stakes winners already. So Rose of Siena was a nice broodmare prospect, and this little girl is her second foal. More importantly, Rose of Siena was “family” — as are all of our horses — and had been for five years, since she came to Rosecrest as a yearling.
The next day the veterinarians conferred with us and said we had done everything we could, and that indeed it was amazing the baby had survived. They said if we had been two or three minutes longer in reaching the clinic, she would not have. (Her barn name is now “Miracle Baby.”) Chuck said to me, “The one saving grace is that she belonged to us and I don’t have to call someone and deliver this kind of news.” I looked at him and said, “Honey, I’m afraid I’m not there yet.”
I still cannot talk about Rose of Siena without tearing up, so if you’re a customer at Lil’s Coffee House, please don’t ask me to. Here’s a picture of the baby at Rosecrest with her grey nurse mare. Life goes on, but there’s a hole in our heart. As the Deltas kept telling me this weekend, we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place, with such gorgeous animals and, indeed, the highs in the horse biz are amazing. But they better be, since the lows can be pretty stunning as well.