Better late than never, right? I'm extremely tardy on this post, so if you follow me on FB or IG and already know about it, here's the whole story.
As many already knew, my broodmare Fastination (AKA Vida, Mama V, Big V or V) was re-bred to the KWPN Stallion Parcival for a full sibling to last years filly Ostara BRR (AKA Amara). Amara sold prior to weaning to a local Jr Hunter Rider who primarily shows on the central and southern circuit, and has an interest in breeding sport horses in the future. Amara was very much a hunter type, was extremely friendly and an absolute pleasure to work with. Vida had Amara on gestational day 329, which is relatively early but very much in the 'safe zone', which is deemed as 320 days for full size horses. Granted, many foal prior to 320 and have health, happy foals without any issue. Vida's foaling last year was textbook, and went extremely well. She built a bag over the span of about 6 weeks, waxed, loosened, and thanks to milk testing strips I was able to pin-point exactly when she would foal. I don't agree with not being present for foalings, so it worked out beautifully.
I foal Vida out at my in laws, as they have been breeding for 45+ years and have seen it all in terms of what can go wrong. Last year after Amara was weaned and Vida had been re-bred, I chose to leave Vida at my in laws for the winter rather than take her home for a few months then bring her back again in the early spring. She wintered quite well all things considered, and showed a very similar trajectory in that she started to bag around the same time as she had with Amara and I expected another foal around that 330 day mark.
We monitored Vida closely but kept her out in the pasture with her herdmates until she looked a little closer, and I checked her every other day, while my in laws checked her each evening at feeding time. On Sunday, May 17 I checked her and had hoped to begin milk testing her, but was still unable to express any fluid from her teats. She was building a nice bag, but it was still only about 1/2 - 3/4 full so I wasn't concerned. Her hind end was still tight, and she showed no other symptoms of foaling being imminent, so I began to think she might make it closer to 340 days. Regardless, the following day I planned to bring her up into the paddock by the barn where she could be under cameras, just in case she decided to pull a fast one on us. That evening at feeding time, my in laws also checked her and found the same things - no wax, unable to express fluid, tight hind end, etc. That evening, the other mare expected to foal who had been running milk for a week finally had her baby. Because they were waiting for her to finally drop her foal, they did a second late-night check on all the horses around 11:30 PM, and Vida showed no change.
Due to COVID, I am currently working from home from my regular job, but work is slow and as a result my in-laws have hired me to work in their office at my own pace due to being nearly 8 months pregnant. My husband also works for my in-laws, so it's worked out well as we carpool each day, and I can check Vida without having to make a special trip. My routine was to check Vida every afternoon when I went for a little walk to stretch my legs, however on Monday morning I had a very strange feeling and I just needed to go check Vida.
As I walked out to her pasture, two of the younger mares were galloping around as were the horses in the bordering pasture. I couldn't see Vida or her BFF as they were in a bit of a low spot over a hill, but I quickened my pace as the feeling of concern grew and sure enough, as I crested the hill I spotted Vida with a little red foal standing at her side. Shit.
I had no halter with me and Vida and her BFF were trying hard to protect the baby from prying eyes. The foal was up, pooping normally (so had passed her meconium), nursing and was dry with the exception of the tips of her ears. I called up to the house and asked for some help and a halter while I tried to help Vida deter the curious young mares wanting to check out this new foal, who was a little frazzled at the whole ordeal. Within minutes, my husband and father in law were coming over the hill; hubby jogging and his father in law on the quad. We were all in absolute shock and it took us some time to get the baby moving in the right direction and up to the barn, but eventually we made it and tucked them into a nice warm stall and caught our breath.
Shamelessly, I gave her the barn name "Dory" (because of Finding Dory), and the marking on her face has been pointed out as looking like a fish hook. For her papers, her registered name has to start with a P and we * almost * went with Phinding Dory just for the heck of it, but because she is for sale we decided not to lol. Plus, i'm still dealing with the inner turmoil of missing the foaling because it's something I feel strongly about being present for. Instead, we decided on Phascinating BRR for her registered name; similar to Vida's registered name of Fastination.
So without further ado, welcome to Phascinating BRR (AKA Dory) who we assume was born in the wee hours of May 19, 2020. It's been really interesting comparing her to Amara, her full sibling, both in type and personality and as Dory ages i'll put together a post of comparisons because I find it truly phascinating (ha, so cheesy).