Foaling season began with Melody’s Spirit 2016, a filly by Atreides, born Wednesday, January 20th.  Mama was soooo considerate, and delivered before midnight.  The delivery was fortunately easy for both mama and foal.

Our first foal of 2016!

Atreides – Melody’s Spirit filly — our first foal of 2016!

Baby Mel was born at 11:15 and actually tried to stand by 11:20.  She was successfully up within 20 minutes and immediately went to nurse.  She has long legs, weighed 115 lbs. (sounds like we are describing a model), and is a beautiful bay with a nice star on her forehead.

It’s always fun watching foals experiment with their legs.  Baby Mel realized she could stand and made a circle around mama.  She tried sneaking under mama, but with her long legs mama decided that was not going to happen.  So baby hopped around the stall instead.  Once she was checked by the vet and given a clean bill of health, she went outside with mama for a short time.

Melody’s Spirit is by Scat Daddy and was born January 11, 2009.  Her first born is a 3-year-old named Whitmore by Pleasantly Perfect born January 23, 2013 in Kentucky.  He is doing great at the track with two wins from three starts, and his second win was just four days before his half-sister was born.  The win was at Oaklawn Park where he showed good speed and energy down the stretch.  Baby Mel’s owner, Nick Cosato, would love to see him get to Kentucky the first Saturday in May.

Baby Mel was born with a very mature nature.  She not only tolerated the foaling team, she actually enjoyed them rubbing her head, body and legs.  She stood still for them to take her temperature and, in case you are wondering, she does not hold the thermometer in her mouth.

baby Mel

Baby Mel leading the way!

As you can see, we got a lot of snow on Friday in Kentucky.  Chuck had the Bobcat out clearing the roads but this is a first… he had to clear the paddock so Baby Mel could get out and play in the snow.  As Chuck told her owner, Nick, she leads very easily to the paddock.  Often when leading newborns out to the paddock, it can be a combination of leading, pushing and struggling to stay up with mama.  Not so with Baby Mel, she almost struts out in front of mama — really not concerned with how far ahead she gets.

The cycle of life was evident on Wednesday, the 20th.  While we celebrated this healthy new foal, the Thoroughbred industry was was mourning the loss of two important stallions — Kingmambo and Arch.

Arch's stall at Claiborne Farm the day after his death, with flowers from his groom "Daddy Rodeo".

Arch’s stall at Claiborne Farm the day after his death, with flowers from his groom “Daddy Rodeo”. (Photo courtesy of CLAIBORNE FARM.)

Kingmambo was 26 and had been pensioned in 2010.  This influential stallion stood his entire career at William S. Farish’s farm Lane’s End, where he will be buried.

Arch was 21 years old and died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack according to Claiborne Farm.  There he was bred, raised, raced, stood as a stallion and sired Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame for his owner/breeders Claiborne and Adele Dilschneider.  He will be greatly missed.

I am reminded of Arch every day when I see our retired mare Brenna Belle who is by Arch and looks just like him… although maybe she is a little shorter.  Those of you who have been to Rosecrest will remember her for several reasons.  She is usually the first to the fence for treats and will usually reward the giver with a big curl to her upper lip in appreciation.  And she is the one who grows the longest wooliest coat for the winter.  She also gave us our first winner, Big Boy Billy.

Life is a full cycle… birth, memories for many reasons, and death.  We can only hope that in all phases of life, our horses are loved.