Note: Stonestreet Farm has done a fantastic job of keeping media and fans abreast of the status of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra as she recovers from surgery to repair damage to her small colon suffered while foaling. In addition to providing timely updates, Stonestreet also addressed the many questions surrounding the nurse mare Rachel Alexandra’s filly has been place with and the use of nurse mares in general in a post on their Stonestreet Farm website.
The link the full article on Stonestreet’s site is here at: http://bit.ly/XPJCRL
Below are a few excerpts from Stonestreet’s post:
Who is the nurse mare?
Miss Beutiful Ojos is a quarter horse and trusted nurse mare who has performed this important job at Stonestreet before. Nurse mares are often quarter or draft horses, and it is imperative that they possess good nurse mare characteristics. Miss Beutiful Ojos, or “Ojos” for short, is both very sweet and a great milk producer, two of the most important nurse mare qualities.
In those difficult situations in which we have to call in a nurse mare, Stonestreet draws upon a very select network of farms we trust to provide well-tempered and disease-free mares, while ensuring proper care for the nurse mare’s foal as well.
If Rachel recovers, will her foal be returned to her?
No. Rachel’s filly has bonded with Ojos, and she now considers Ojos to be her mother. She will remain with her until she is weaned. It is important to respect the bond now created between Rachel’s filly and her surrogate.
Rachel’s condition remains serious and she will need her strength as she fights to recover. Even if she were able to return to her foal, her milk production would have ceased. It is again, not an ideal situation, but keep in mind Rachel was raised by a surrogate as well.
What will happen to the nurse mare’s foal?
Ojos is what you might call a “professional” nurse mare. She is very good at her job and provides an important service under very difficult circumstances. The filly out of Miss Beutiful Ojos will be hand raised as a reining/cutting horse prospect.