When Jenny Tucker’s mare, Sophie, went into labor on May 11, she and her husband were expecting a normal birth. Tucker has been a part of the rodeo scene her entire life, and she first started breeding quarter horses when she got married. She’s seen many expectant mothers give birth to healthy foals, but Sophie’s birth would be a first for her.
At around 11 p.m., Sophie gave birth to a sandy-colored foal. And a few minutes later, she pushed out another. The twin foals, one colt and one filly, beat the 1 in 10,000 odds of surviving to term, but their first few days of life haven’t been easy.
The rare duo—named Bonnie and Clyde— are being treated at Elgin Veterinary Hospital near Austin, TX. The high-spirited Bonnie is the healthier of the two and doing well, but mellow Clyde was only given a 50/50 chance of survival after birth. After a week of close monitoring and medical care, however, his veterinarian has bumped his odds up to 60/40.
Both foals will stay at the hospital until June as they continue to grow and gain strength. Their extended stay is putting a heavy financial strain on the Tucker family, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the bills.
Tucker is confident that Elgin Veterinary Hospital will provide the best possible care to her precious new babies. She expects to see them romping in their home fields in a matter of weeks.
When a mare first becomes pregnant with twins, the embryos usually abort within the first six weeks. The odds are only slightly better after the six-week mark, and many mares experience late-term miscarriages. The trauma is often life-threatening for the mare and can also lead to reduced fertility for the next breeding.
It’s these facts that make Bonnie and Clyde so special. The combined weight of twins is usually only about the same as one healthy foal, and Bonnie and Clyde may never gain enough weight to be put in the “normal” category. With such slim odds, cases of healthy twin foals are always celebrated. Another colt/filly pair was recently born in England, and their owners join the Tuckers in cherishing healthy horse families.
Featured Image Source: GoFundMe