We are proud to announce that Olwyn (pictured above right), our Percheron mare, is in foal.
Museum Horseman, Mark Buxton, is delighted with the news and said: ”We were unsure whether she was in foal as the usual way to tell is to wait and see if she came back into season or not. To make sure, I called in our vet from Liphook Equine Hospital to scan her here at the Museum stables. It was quite exciting when the scan showed the umbilical cord, which we could then follow to see a flicker of movement. I am so pleased that she’s in foal.”
Olwyn was sent to stud at Robert Sampson’s Harbridge Farm, near Ringwood, earlier in the year and was covered by his stallion, Norse. Horses’ gestation period is eleven months and a vet will check her progress in March. All being well, Olwyn’s foal is expected to join our team of four heavy horses in late June 2018. This will be the first foal born at the Museum since 1983.
Mark says: “I thought she was in foal because her attitude had changed. I now need to build a strong bond with Olwyn so I’ll be totally trusted when the foal is born. Mares can be very possessive with their young, so I need to forge a strong relationship with her prior to the event.”
The Museum is committed to maintaining a working team of heavy horses and by purchasing a mare last March we now have the ability to breed our next generation. Shires Mac and Major can be seen hauling carts and helping with haymaking, ploughing and harvesting at the Museum – they also regularly participate in outside events. Ollie has been trained to carry out traditional farming tasks since joining the Museum in March. Olwyn will be worked at the Museum until approximately one month before the foal is due.
Heavy horses can be seen at the Museum whenever it is open to the public –either working around the Museum site, at the stables or grazing in its fields.