Double dose of mum instinct for mare

Bella KitchenSouth Western Times
Rivercrest Park stud master Steve Hoare with maiden mare Dondiggin and her two foals.
Camera IconRivercrest Park stud master Steve Hoare with maiden mare Dondiggin and her two foals. Credit: Bella Kitchen

Rivercrest Park owners were lost for words one of their maiden mares adopted an orphan foal in an extraordinary case.

Stud masters Steve and Diane Hoare said it was unheard of for a maiden mare with a foal of her own to take on another mare’s foal.

“She (the mare) knows that the orphan is not hers, but she is still happy to let it drink, 99.9 per cent of mares wouldn’t let another foal do that,” Mr Hoare said.

Especially a maiden, this is her first foal, she is still learning how to be a mum and now she has two kids, and that is what makes this is so special.

Rivercrest Park maiden mare Dondiggin and her two foals.
Camera IconRivercrest Park maiden mare Dondiggin and her two foals. Credit: Bella Kitchen

The maiden mare, Gondiggin, was an ex-racehorse and won over $122,000 on the track. Mr Hoare said when she arrived on the stud he would have never imagined her adopting another foal.

“When this mare foaled, she got up and ran away as if she wanted nothing to do with it,” he said

“It took a little while for motherhood to click in and obviously it clicked in really well because now, she has two foals.”

In normal circumstances, mares have one foal each year. With Gondiggin feeding and caring for an extra foal, herself and the foals are being monitored carefully to track her weight and health.

“Gondiggin really stepped up and is helping keep this little orphan alive,” Mr Hoare said.

The two male foals treat each other like typical siblings, playing and teasing one another.

Mr and Ms Hoare said this rare occurrence made their hard work worth it.

Rivercrest Park Stud owners Diane and Steve Hoare with maiden mare Dondiggin and her two foals.
Camera IconRivercrest Park Stud owners Diane and Steve Hoare with maiden mare Dondiggin and her two foals. Credit: Bella Kitchen

“When you get something like this that happens, it makes it all worthwhile,” Mr Hoare said.

“Mares come and go but mares like Gondiggin, they have got to stay.”

Gondiggin tested in foal on Monday and is due for her second foal next September.

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