Penn Vet, My Special Girl, Foal Cam

 After 355 days of pregnancy, on March 29 at 9:22 pm ET, My Special Girl gave birth to her foal. Watch the miracle.

Giving Birth: A Mare and Her Foal

Meet New Bolton Pioneer, or Boone for short

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. msg-foalHS3

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 is named New Bolton Pioneer, or Boone for short. New Bolton Pioneer will serve as the colt’s formal “show name,” with Boone as his less formal “barn name.” Boone was the clear winner among the eight names offered by Penn Vet in a naming contest.

The pair 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 the farm of Dr. Rose Nolen-Walston, Assistant Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine at New Bolton Center. Dr. Nolen-Walston is adopting Boone in partnership with trainer Lisa Fergusson.

You can continue to follow their lives through our Baby Book blog: just click on the purple "Access Boone's Blog" link on the right of this page.

Update: About Boone's Health

Dr. Megan Burke checks BooneBoone has been growing steadily and thriving.

However, New Bolton Center veterinarians in August of 2014 diagnosed a bone infection in the fetlock joint of his right hind leg, which caused him to be lame. Boone was at New Bolton Center for more than a week undergoing tests and treatment, including surgery and aggressive antibiotics.

Boone responded to treatment, and was on stall rest and oral antibiotic medication throughout September. On his six-month birthday, September 29, he came back to New Bolton Center for an examination that showed he was healing well.

Now he is completely recovered and growing well.

Learn more about our colt's condition...

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.

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, 15 days past the average of 340 days. Learn more about ICSI...

NBC's Dr. Abraham checks on the mare.Facts about Equine Pregnancy

An average equine pregnancy lasts 340 days. Based on this, we listed her due date as March 14, 2014, but it turned out to be March 29.

Penn Vet, My Special Girl, Foal Cam

Our Mare's Daily Schedule in the NICU

Throughout the day and night, My Special Girl and her unborn foal were monitored carefully to make sure they were both in good shape. Review her schedule so you know when she was in her stall, and what our clinicians were doing.

Foal ultrasound, New Bolton CenterUltrasounds & Videos

Watch an ICSI procedure to learn more about in vitro fertilization. You can also watch ultrasound videos and other videos of My Special Girl's foal.

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...

Meet New Bolton Center's Foal Cam Team

The Penn medical team assembled for this special Foal Cam project includes Penn Vet experts in reproduction, neonatology,and critical care, in addition to the head of the advanced reproduction section at Penn Medicine. 

» Meet the Foal Cam Team...

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. 

Visit Our Photo Album

MySpecialGirl, a pregnant mare

Become a Friend of New Bolton Center

The Penn Vet Foal Cam is brought to you by the Friends of New Bolton Center.

Questions About Foal Cam?

For questions or comments about the Foal Cam project, please contact:

Louisa Shepard,
New Bolton Center Communications Specialist