A Breezy Bell beats the odds with healthy twin foals
By STEVE BROWN
It was about 2 in the morning on April 7 when Waynora Martin went out to check on her overdue mare, A Breezy Bell. She found a newborn foal next to the 8-year-old mama.
Martin gave the foal a once-over, noticed the blaze on its nose, then went to the house for some iodine.
She returned to find a foal with a star on its nose and wondered, "Are my eyes playing tricks on me?"
Turns out A Breezy Bell had rung up a double, both of the foals healthy, normal size, upright and nursing immediately.
When she reported to her husband that the mare had given birth, she waited for the obvious question: "Colt or filly?"
Her answer: "Yes!"
This was A Breezy Bell's first pregnancy, and there was nothing to indicate anything was unusual.
"I had no clue there were eight legs in there," Martin said. "She was competing last October with two on board."
Martin, at Quarter Moon Ranch in Sequim, Wash., is president of the Olympic Peninsula Region of the Patterned Speed Horse Association. The association promotes barrel racing, key racing, pole bending, figure eight, flags, stake racing and other games.
"She's a big horse: 16 hands high," Martin said. "She was so big I don't know how she made it through some of the gates. But she had 10 clean races in 10 events."
At 2 weeks old, the colt, Billy, and the filly, Lilly, were already trying to munch on hay and grain.
"The odds are astronomical that both would survive, that they would be the same size, that they would just be normal foals," Martin said.
Molly Dickson, who owns the sire, Cimmaron Isle, has been a veterinary tech for 22 years. "The birth was against all odds," she said.
The association cited a study of multiple equine pregnancies. The mare's uterus is designed to support only one fetus at a time. As a result, only 9 percent of twin pregnancies survive to term, 64.5 percent of which result in two dead foals, 21 percent with one live foal, and 14.5 percent with two live foals.
Said Dickson, "There's just no way it should have happened."
The Patterned Speed Horse Association: www.patternedspeedhorse.com