How to get a baby horse by any method except sex. I wrote this story for the April issue of Louisville Magazine.
The colt was born this morning. Now shy and spindly, it clomps lightly on supermodel legs, a bit dazed beside the mare that birthed him. Up and down the barn aisle are other mares with newborns or mares fatly pregnant. One Morgan mare, a month overdue, her body swollen and heavy, seems to slosh and sway in her stall.
The mares are all surrogates, the hothouse incubators for champion embryos. While the show-mare mothers continue to prance in the ring, their progeny take up residence in the wombs of genetic strangers who play mother and wet nurse. The privileged champion, like a well-bred Victorian lady, hands off the messy parts without missing a hoofbeat.
A short walk away , in the main veterinary building at Equine Services in Simpsonville, it is fretful filly day. Seaforth’s Bonnie Lass stands in a red metal stall, sensitive to every movement in the room. Her ears point straight up and flick nervously, like receivers snatching at stray signals. She is sedated, but you wouldn’t know it. She could not be more watchful.
Behind her, Scott Bennett pulls on a clear blue plastic glove that goes all the way up to his armpit.
He’ll need it.
Bennett, the veterinarian who owns Equine Services, is about to retrieve an embryo via the back end of the antsy mare.
HERE’S A LINK TO THE REST OF THE STORY…