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Double Trouble- Twin Foals

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    Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 4:04pm

Double trouble - Twin foals

Merlo Downs Stud in Central Queensland is celebrating the birth of twin foals.

Last week Jeff and Lea Marlow's mare Gilded Tiara gave birth to a colt and a filly by the stud's resident stallion El Nino (USA).

Gilded Tiara with her twin foals by El Nino - Photo: courtesy of Merlo Downs Stud.

The Marlow's are the proprietors of Merlo Downs Stud and the parents of Sky Racing's racecaller Luke Marlow.

"What happened was we had her checked at 35 days and the vet hadn't seen there were twins inside the mare," Lea Marlow said.

"Because she's our mare and it was at the end of the season we were getting tired so we didn't check her at 45 days, we checked her at 55 and then the vet saw them.

"She said, 'Oh, she's got twins, what do you want to do?' and we said no we'll just let nature take its course. As time went on and she got bigger and bigger we were pretty convinced she'd have two.

"When I went out there on Sunday morning and saw them I just cried and cried. They looked so beautiful.

"They have an identical blaze and an offside white leg. It's such a special thing to see."

Lea Marlow said the family will race the two foals with her husband Jeff a licenced trainer.

"Wouldn't it be special one day to see them win a race on the same day," she said.

Gilded Tiara with her twin foals by El Nino - Photo: courtesy of Merlo Downs Stud.

Keeper of the Australian Stud Book Michael Ford described the birth of two live twins as "very rare".

"We get about one registered birth of twins each year," Ford said. "There are lots of different outcomes with twins where one's born dead, both are born dead but as far as to have a set of live twins it is very rare.

"There was a mare born in 1945 called Woodstand and she had a set of twins, Newtown Star and Woodie Wonder who is the dam of Gunsynd."

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equinegal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote equinegal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 4:59pm
I read that story this morning and I'm still shaking my head.... "Because she's our mare and it was at the end of the season we were getting tired so we didn't check her at 45 days, we checked her at 55 and then the vet saw them"
I'm sure the Marlows are lovely people but when one apparently "gets tired" and basically chooses to "let nature take it course", IMO its a tad irresponsible as they are probably fully aware (like most I'm hoping) that horses are not built like bloody goats or sheep inside and able to have multiple births - sure, some slip through the cracks, but this was evident at 55days.
 
Bless this 12yo mare, you made the headlines all for the wrong reasonsThumbs Down  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieOi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 6:02pm
Originally posted by equinegal equinegal wrote:

I read that story this morning and I'm still shaking my head.... "Because she's our mare and it was at the end of the season we were getting tired so we didn't check her at 45 days, we checked her at 55 and then the vet saw them"
I'm sure the Marlows are lovely people but when one apparently "gets tired" and basically chooses to "let nature take it course", IMO its a tad irresponsible as they are probably fully aware (like most I'm hoping) that horses are not built like bloody goats or sheep inside and able to have multiple births - sure, some slip through the cracks, but this was evident at 55days.
 
Bless this 12yo mare, you made the headlines all for the wrong reasonsThumbs Down  
 
Couldnt agree more! at least it tells people where not to send there mares.....
 
Too bad if she had died when letting nature takes its course, when giving birth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Run For Fun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 6:25pm
Little Plains presented weanling twins before their official yearling parade in 2011. 
If memory serves the mare (named Babouska) was purchased in foal to Shinzig, and as most would know a certificate of pregnancy is required to have been performed within 7 or so days of sale for the positive to be confirmed on auction day.  However nothing about twins was reported, and well may have resulted in subsequent legal action.
In any event the twins were offered at this year's Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale, with the colt fetching $10k and the filly $7k.
 
A galling but nonetheless interesting sidelight to this is that the mare failed to produce a foal in the three years previous to the multiple birth, and hasn't conceived in the two years since.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Biggles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 7:12pm
I was appalled that anyone would let the mare foal unattended when they knew she was having twins. It could have been an absolute disaster. They don't know how lucky they are....I hope they don't have outside mares foaling there!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VSP. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 7:17pm
It was down as a 16/09 service date - if thats an end of season service then its a short season!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Munga Rangi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 7:48pm
I cannot believe they did not scan the mare!
They could quite easily of had 3 dead horses!
Damn lucky and far from professional.
I have had some experience with twin foals but the outcome was unsuccessful.
I purchased a broodmare privately who went in foal after the first service .We had her scanned twice  at intervals and everything was fine :)
As time went on she grew BIGGER and BIGGER until about 6weeks out, she could hardly walk.She was a big mare anyway and had been on good feed.She wasn't overly fat but in beautiful round condition and a huge belly.I said almost off handed one day "I think that mare is carrying twins.she's HUGE!".3 days later we had a huge electrical storm and big hail.The next morning I checked the mares again and this particular one had foaled dead twins - a beautiful big colt and a much smaller filly.
The second embryo had not been detected on the scans.
  Next season she went in foal straight away again but the vets were extremely careful (and appologetic) when the scanned her, knowing the history of the previous year.Everything seemed normal but they checked her a second time and tucked right in directly behind the first embryo was a smaller second one ( which was squeezed) every year after that it was the same.The mare conceived twins on every occasion thereafter.At least we knew after that! 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 9:06pm
Yes they sound to be quite naive, letting nature takes it course can often be a cruel one. Very lucky it turned out as out as it did. Many mares to foal there just looking at the place and obviously without proper supervision.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ianb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 9:34pm
For what it's worth people, mares have been foaling for many many years by themselves, it is a big IF something went wrong.put it into perspective for a minute, how many of you have been watching your mare foal and she has complications like a rectal fistula or a dog sitter, it happens.  Merlo Downs have obviously dodged a bullet and it is very rare for a mare to carry twins to term, a simple PG would have been all that was required
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieOi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 9:39pm
Originally posted by ianb ianb wrote:

For what it's worth people, mares have been foaling for many many years by themselves, it is a big IF something went wrong.put it into perspective for a minute, how many of you have been watching your mare foal and she has complications like a rectal fistula or a dog sitter, it happens.  Merlo Downs have obviously dodged a bullet and it is very rare for a mare to carry twins to term, a simple PG would have been all that was required
 
Yes of course, it does happen, but their attitude in the article was appalling towards the danger they purposely left their mare in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Biggles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 9:53pm
I have been foaling down mares for many years and plenty of things can and do go wrong, often when you least expect it.... sometimes a little human intervention can be all that is needed. To leave a mare alone to foal twins is downright lazy and thoughtless.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horseshoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 9:58pm
What a judgemental lot you are! How many breeders have them pregtested at 42 days and thats it!
Yes, they dodged a bullet - they know that.
 
We have a mare due in 5 weeks - we hope we dodge all the bullets that come with foaling down any mare.
 
It was a big call to make - it was their own mare, she was well looked after, and their choice.
 
I know lots of pregnant mares in local paddocks that wont even be checked until December. They will foal on their own - letting nature take its course. Most will dodge the bullets.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horseshoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by Biggles Biggles wrote:

I have been foaling down mares for many years and plenty of things can and do go wrong, often when you least expect it.... sometimes a little human intervention can be all that is needed. To leave a mare alone to foal twins is downright lazy and thoughtless.
 
Where does it say in the article that she foaled down alone????
 
Many people dont get up when the foal has been born in the middle of the night.....does not mean she was unattended.....how many people live in their household??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote equinegal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 10:17pm
I did notice the last service date and that too had me shaking my head as well! Being "Tired" just 16days into the start of tb breeding season just doesnt make sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 10:41pm
We put the mares in foal , it is our responsibility to take the care of their lives, I will say t again, nature can be cruel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horseshoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 11:05pm
Originally posted by GAJ GAJ wrote:

We put the mares in foal , it is our responsibility to take the care of their lives, I will say t again, nature can be cruel.
 
And dont we breeders know it......dodging bullets every time - waiting/hoping for that little champSmile
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daraabah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2012 at 11:10pm

20-Lengths Win For El Nino Filly

Wednesday, 29th August 2012

In the US, 3YO filly Indy el Nino (El Nino-Ghostly Gate) scored by a tick under 20-lengths when leading all the way over 1600m at Fairmont. Indy el Nino is by Queensland's Merlo Downs permanently-based sire El Nino (Storm Cat-Bay Harbor, by Forty Niner) who is out of a half-sister to G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Boston Harbor (US Champion 2YO Colt). El Nino (standing for $5,500) is now the sire of 14 winners from his first 22 runners. Typically leading from pillar to post, his progeny are winning by big margins over sprint trips. In addition to Indy el Nino, other recent winners include:

  • Doppler Radar – Duel Winner at Fort Eire (1000m) by 6-lengths, previous start winner by 8-lengths over 1000m.
  • Joy Rising – Winner at Delaware Park (1200m) by 5-lengths.
  • Senor Rain – Winner at Hoosier Park (1200m) by 3.5-lengths.
  • Ziva Cat – Winner at Hoosier Park (1200m) by 2.5-lengths.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 3:47am
I'm glad I'm not the only one that was disgusted with the comments on being too tired to scan their mare, letting nature take it's course, and the implication that she foaled unattended when they knew she was having twins. I shared the article on facebook & made these observations and had someone who is pretty well known in the industry say it was fine because the mare foaled okay & even though they didnt feel like doing it at 45 days they checked her at 55 days... It's extremely irresponsible, people with this attitude don't deserve to have live horses from a situation like this. I've been working nights foaling down mares for the past four seasons, the amount of tiny little things you have to do to assist some mares make you wonder what sort of horror things people find in their paddocks in the morning when they 'let nature take it's course'.. I love to look up the breeding history & keep written records of every mare I foal as well, which takes a lot of time, but there are so many mares who have no mare returns or foal born dead, foal died after birth etc... Would love to know what happened, how many of those were just left to foal themselves & something happened & the foal was found dead. Or if any slipped twins because the owners couldn't be bothered to do anything about it at 55 days !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Biggles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 7:34am
horseshoe I would be pretty sure she foaled alone. If she had have been watched by a night watch person and had delivered live twins I cannot imagine that they would not have woken up the owners with the news, especially as they live on the place. Would anyone on this site not be interested enough to get out of bed on an occaision like that?
Obviously there are many people out there who have not seen the ramifications of a 'bad' foaling. Only people that haven't would support these people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Biggles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 7:57am
By the way ianb I am really disappointed in your comment that recto-vaginal fistulas "can happen". That is one foaling problem that can be corrected 100% before it happens. Every maiden mare that starts foaling should have a hand inserted into the vagina to make sure the foals front feet are not pushing up into the rectum, if they are they should be manipulated so that they are in the right position for a normal foaling, this may take a bit of strength but it's not rocket science. In fact it's the first thing I do with every foaling just in case there is only one foot coming or a "dog sitter" etc....it is much easier to push the foal back and get it into a normal position before it gets stuck, than wait until it is well and truly jammed and have to cut it up to remove it. The longer I have been foaling mares the more cautious I have become because many things can go wrong. Thoroughbreds are vitually a man made breed....they are not ponies that can be left to get on with it, if anything can go wrong it usually does.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieOi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 8:24am
Originally posted by Biggles Biggles wrote:

By the way ianb I am really disappointed in your comment that recto-vaginal fistulas "can happen". That is one foaling problem that can be corrected 100% before it happens. Every maiden mare that starts foaling should have a hand inserted into the vagina to make sure the foals front feet are not pushing up into the rectum, if they are they should be manipulated so that they are in the right position for a normal foaling, this may take a bit of strength but it's not rocket science. In fact it's the first thing I do with every foaling just in case there is only one foot coming or a "dog sitter" etc....it is much easier to push the foal back and get it into a normal position before it gets stuck, than wait until it is well and truly jammed and have to cut it up to remove it. The longer I have been foaling mares the more cautious I have become because many things can go wrong. Thoroughbreds are vitually a man made breed....they are not ponies that can be left to get on with it, if anything can go wrong it usually does.    
 
From one foalwatcher to another - well said! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fastnetrock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 12:52pm
45 days or 55 days doesnt matter still would've had trouble squeezing twin at 45 days.  What vet cant depict a twin at 35 days?  Should stick to cats or dogs
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 5:27pm
I wonder if the vet gave advice to end the pregnancy and start again? I would like to think so. It was early enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieOi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 9:10pm
Originally posted by Fastnetrock Fastnetrock wrote:

45 days or 55 days doesnt matter still would've had trouble squeezing twin at 45 days.  What vet cant depict a twin at 35 days?  Should stick to cats or dogs
 
Their reply on twitter to someone was they let nature take its course because they didnt want to kill the 2 foals at the 55 day test Confused Instead they let the mare carry twins knowing they could lose all 3. If that is responsible breeding, then bugger me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tauto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 9:19pm
Well the positive is all 3 survived!!!!

Just an incredible tale and lets hope they all survive and the Mare continues to have successful foals as Runfer put it he knows of a mare giving birth to twins and since shes had no luck!!! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EverydayImShufflin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2012 at 9:52pm
I read this story earlier today and just sat there shaking my head in disbelief.
 
I echo many of the statesments written here;
 
1) tired?? After an early cover...... scanning a mare at 45 days towards the end of October is NOT late in the season...... Late is Christmas!
 
2) Letting nature take it's cause - yes, I suppose in a sense we all do this when putting mares in foal, but not to the extent they did. They KNEW she was carrying twins and did nothing about it. Probability, physics and biology all say that the three shouldn't be alive today.
 
3) I hope the vet who didn't spot twins at 35 days no longer has an equine repro job. That is a massive error, especially when most twin pregnancies can be spotted and dealt with between 14 and 20 days.
 
Very naive for them to post this to a well known breeding site, obviously not thinking the response would be so negative.
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