In Depth: She's There When Complications Arise
Spring is a busy time on horse farms across the bluegrass especially where mares and foals are concerned. Samantha Lederman introduces us to a medical professional who is often on hand when things don't go according to plan.The racing world and 2010 horse of the year Zenyatta’s many, many fans were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of her fourth foal a few weeks ago. The foal died from complications of meconium aspiration which is actually quite common.
Dr Laura Werner is a surgeon at the Haggard Equine Medical Institute and specialises in lameness and equine emergency services. The night before I talk to her she’s been up with two foal colic surgeries and a c-section - par for the course at this time of year - and she’ll work a full day and catch up when she can. Contrary to what we might see in the movies, foaling doesn’t always go smoothly.
Once the foal is born the next few days can be the most important if there were any difficulties during the birth. However, you can never really rest on your laurels.
Zenyatta tragically lost her 2014 foal, a weanling filly, in a paddock accident. Zenyatta has been bred to Medaglia D’Oro who stands at Darley Stud, and will be checked in a couple of weeks to see if she is in foal. Many thanks to Dr Laura Werner for her help with this report.