How the TB industry uses foster nursemares in Ireland

Discussion in 'Horse Rescue / Adoption' started by D_BaldStockings, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    I thought it might be good to post this link to Coolmore's foster mares.
    The Coolmore Foster Mares & Foals -

    "Like any of the foster foals at Coolmore, Ginger’s own foal is being hand-reared and when old enough will be weaned onto bucket feeding. The foster mares are chosen for their excellent temperament and robust constitution which their foals inherit. They quickly settle and thrive in their new routine, bonding with other foals of a similar age. Most of the foster foals are re-homed as due to their placid nature they make wonderful mounts for both children and adults. A number will also remain at Coolmore, the fillies eventually becoming foster mares themselves while the colts make excellent teaser stallions."

    Coolmore also has a US farm and an Australian farm. They are the largest TB corporation in the world.
     
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  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    So basically the same as in the US, then.
     
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  3. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    But without the drama, lies and rescue desperation that is the perception propagandized about racing and going unchallenged in the USA.

    And we know who the foster mares are and the origin; and the hand-reared foals belong to which mares, have a good start in life, go on to sensible 'horse careers'...
    ...and no one is stigmatized, there are no crazy fabrications about the racing / breeding industry, and no one is gulled or guilted into donating in the process.
     
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    There's also quite a consistency of conformation and type. Which was not typical of the foals at the rescues in the US. Not suggesting none are from nurse mares, but that not many of them are.
     
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  5. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    Well, I don't think 'colored cobs' are common in the USA at nursemare prices as they are in Ireland: I'd expect 'mixed backyard' Paints, Appys and QH, maybe the 'southern gaited racking horse' to be the breeds/types of choice in the USA.

    -I don't know what Coolmore does on this side of the pond, but good horsemanship shows in their Irish facility; I'd be surprised if they were less over here.
     
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  6. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Nice to see. Yes, mighty nice to not see hysteria. Looks like a well run system and I know the racing stables are.
     
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  7. allhorsenobrain

    allhorsenobrain Full Member

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    It looks and sounds very nice and they're putting up those successful homing stories of the foals that they take from the mares they then use to nurse the TB foals but if you follow the Horse and Hound on Facebook Ireland is overflowing with abandoned, unwanted, often neglected and abused gypsy vanner cobs wandering loose on roads, people's land and housing areas and they don't make a deal of hysteria about that either so how are Coolmoor not just adding to the problem by breeding even more of them? I wonder how many more are just going straight to someone's dinner plate in Europe as a bi-product of the industry?
    The nurse foal idea grew out of the TB industry in countries where a mare can have to be transported hundreds of miles to a stud, its just safer for a valuable foal to not go with her but in Ireland and the UK that really isn't such a deal so I wonder why they are doing it there too especially when they've got so many top stallions right on site?
    Maybe time the industry moved into AI like most other high level horse breeding enterprises
     
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  8. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    This is one of those things that is just not true. Mares that have to 'go hundreds of miles to a stud' are often sent before foaling, then bred at the appropriate time and shipped out later with the foal at foot and in foal to the new stallion.
    Then there are mare owners who have decent trailers and drive mare and foal up for the breeding, unload, prep, breed the mare and load back up in a matter of hours and the foal is monitored by a handler while the dam is being rebred. Not really a problem for professionals. I've done it.
    I've also moved over 2000 miles with a mare and month old foal to a new farm. No more than a bit of extra stops to check that baby is nursing well. Foals are quite precocious - they would have to travel with the herd on their own 4 hooves shortly after birth.

    Nursemares are used when a mare cannot raise her foal. Either through her death, illness, physical incapacity to supply milk, etc.

    And it is rare.

    +
    The plight of unwanted, neglected horses of all sorts is sad.
    Saying no one ought to breed, train and responsibly find careers for horses because there are horses in difficulties elsewhere not under responsible management is grossly unfair and painting all horse activity with one brush.
     
  9. D_BaldStockings

    D_BaldStockings Senior Member

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    It is also important to separate the 'return to Sport' argument out as a 'need for a nursemare'.

    A pregnant mare would have to be out of training for up to 6 months, and in many instances it is illegal to show a heavily pregnant mare under saddle in strenuous sports so instead?

    People wanting to show a mare and have offspring to sell use a recipient mare's womb and do an embryo transfer from the show mare. The recipient carries and raises the foal; the donor mare returns to training and competing.

    I'm not aware of this happening in Racing at all, though it has been done with Dressage horses and Show Jumpers.
     
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  10. allhorsenobrain

    allhorsenobrain Full Member

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    So are you saying that the plight of the foals produced by nurse mares in this country is a myth or that it doesn't happen in Ireland at this particular stud and that they only have these mares put in foal on the off chance that they get a TB foal who needs a foster mother? I'm also confused with the concept that they will spend the time it takes to bottle feed these cob foals rather than spend the time bottle feeding a TB foal.
    I can see that they'd do it if they wanted the mare back in racing but mostly TB mares are put to stud when retired from racing.
     

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