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Giving Birth: A Mare and Her Foal


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Tens of thousands of people watched live via the New Bolton Center Foal Cam as mare My Special Girl gave birth to her colt at 9:22 pm on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Dr. Jonathan Palmer, Chief of New Bolton Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Service, and his team assisted with the challenging, 22-minute birth, which you can view on this page.

More than 170,000 people in 120 countries tuned in to watch the live broadcast from the Foal Cam, from February 26 to April 2, 2014.

The colt and his dam lived in a large field at New Bolton’s Hofmann Center on our beautiful 700-acre campus until the end of July when they moved to ​a private farm.

About the Pregnancy

My Special Girl's pregnancy was made possible by the advanced reproductive technique intracytoplasmic sperm injection, known as ICSI, which involves injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. The embryo was transfered to My Special Girl in April 2013 at New Bolton Center's Hofmann Center for Reproduction. The colt was born on his 355th day of gestation.

About the Birth

Our mare, My Special Girl, gave birth to her colt at 9:22 p.m. on Saturday March 29 after 22 minutes of active labor. He weighed 104 pounds and measured 39.5 inches from crown to tail.


Foal Facts

  • Foals are born after a gestation period of about 11 months. However, there is a greater variation in normal gestational length in the mare than in any other species, with normal births occurring after a gestation as short as 10 1/2 months or as long as 13 months.
  • Birth takes place quickly, consistent with the status of a horse as a prey animal, and more often at night than during the day.
  • Foals are born with an ability to quickly escape from predators; normally a foal will stand up and nurse within the first hour after it is born and can trot and canter by the next day.
  • A newborn foal weighs about 100 pounds.
  • A newborn foal's legs are almost as long (90%) as those of an adult horse.

New Bolton Center: Dedicated to ​Quality Care

At New Bolton Center, we offer a full range of ​capabilities ranging from reproduction services for mares and stallions, foaling service for both healthy and at-risk mares, and state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care for at-risk neonates and their dams. Explore all of the options available to you.

Foal Service at New Bolton Center

Foaling Service

At New Bolton Center, we have the kind of foaling care you need, whether you are expecting a normal birth from a healthy mare, or if you are concerned about a high-risk foaling experience. Our combined exper​tise in equine internal medicine, reproduction, and neonatal intensive care means you can stop worrying. Let us keep watch for you.


New Bolton Center ReproductionEquine Reproduction

New Bolton Center's Hofmann Center for Reproduction & Behavior provides comprehensive reproductive services for mares and stallions. Faculty are board certified and conduct research in diverse areas of focus.


Penn Vet NICU at New Bolton CenterNeonatal Intensive Care

New Bolton Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, one of the nation's best, is designed to accommodate the needs of pregnant mares at increased risk for complications, as well as provide their foals with lifesaving critical care beginning even before the foal's birth.

» Learn more about New Bolton Center's NICU...