[April 8, 2014; Kennett Square, PA] – The colt born with the world watching on the New Bolton Center Foal Cam is now named New Bolton Pioneer, Boone for short. New Bolton Pioneer will serve as the colt’s formal “show name,” with Boone as his less formal “barn name.”
Tens of thousands of people watched live via the Foal Cam as our mare My Special Girl gave birth to Boone at 9:22 pm on Saturday, March 29. Dr. Jonathan Palmer, Chief of New Bolton Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Service, and his team assisted with the challenging, 22-minute birth. 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.
A video of the birth is featured on www.vet.upenn.edu/foalcam. Also included is a link to access a Baby Book Blog, which will chronicle Boone’s life.
Penn Vet offered the public eight names to choose from during the week-long contest, and Boone was the clear winner. Of the 2,968 votes cast online, New Bolton Pioneer/Boone received 874 votes. New Bolton Zenith/Zeno, came in second with 550 votes. The other names, in order of popularity, were: New Bolton Equuleus/Stellar; New Bolton Newsworthy/Scoop; New Bolton Original/True; New Bolton Peerless/Tip-Top; New Bolton High-Tech/Scope; New Bolton Broadcast/Signal.
“This colt is truly a pioneer for New Bolton Center. And in the spirit of Daniel Boone, he personifies everything we're striving for at Penn Vet,” said Dr. Rose Nolen-Walston, New Bolton Center Assistant Professor of Medicine, who will adopt Boone. “Looking at him over his first week, I have no doubt that he's going to make us very proud. Every time I see him, I think of the new hope that the innovations that allowed him to be born will offer horse owners around the globe.”
This foal, in particular, is very special because he represents the first successful pregnancy by Penn Vet using the advanced reproductive technique intracytoplasmic sperm injection, known as ICSI, which involves injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. This ICSI embryo was transferred to My Special Girl in early April. She was due to foal on March 14, which is the average of 340 days of gestation. But the pregnancy went a bit longer, with the world watching and waiting, until the 355thgestational day.
Boone and My Special Girl are both thriving, their veterinarians say. Although Boone fractured four ribs while coming through the narrow birth canal, the ribs are aligned and healing well. He is eating well and steadily gaining weight, at 132 pounds, up from a birth weight of 104 pounds. Boone does have a heart murmur, a condition that Dr. Palmer said is verycommon, found in 80 percent of foals in the first month of life, and usually harmless.
“We will be following Boone’s heart murmur carefully during his first month to be sure it is harmless,” Dr. Palmer said. “If it doesn’t fade and disappear we will do a complete heart examination, including ultrasound imaging of his heart."
My Special Girl and Boone are scheduled to move this week to the Hofmann Center for Reproduction at New Bolton Center, where Boone will live for about six months until he is weaned. But he will remain in the New Bolton Center family, going to live on Dr. Nolen-Walston’s nearby farm. Lisa Fergusson of Cochranville, once on Canada’s Olympic Eventing team, will be his trainer when he is ready to begin his athletic career.
For more details on this story, visit www.vet.upenn.edu/foalcam, and read our Penn Vet Extra story.
View a recent video of Boone. For downloadable photos, visit the Penn Vet Flickr Foal Cam album.
Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.
Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,000 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.
For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.