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Daenerys and Joffrey

25th May 2021

Daenerys, an incredible two year old pony came to Bransby Horses in August 2020 with her mother, Sansa. After extensive veterinary checks on arrival, both Daenerys and Sansa were found to be in foal, however we could not be sure of their due dates.

Daenerys recently gave birth to a colt foal. On arrival, it was obvious that he wasn’t in good shape as he couldn’t support his own weight and was suffering from ‘dummy foal syndrome’, a term used to describe foals exhibiting abnormal behaviours and/or neurological signs during their first few days of life.

Our team rushed them both to specialist vets to give him the best chance of survival. There they both received 24-hour care and little Joffrey had intensive nursing and feeding. We are devastated to let you know that our little colt did not make it through the night.

Our teams are understandably distraught by this news. However, they are comforted by the fact that had Daenerys not been rescued, she could have suffered and also died having been left to fend for herself.

We are happy to report that Daenerys is healthy and well, and our teams will continue to monitor her extremely closely in the coming weeks and months. She has returned to Bransby Horses from our specialist veterinary practice following the all clear from our vet team.

Daenerys was a mere two years old when she arrived in foal at Bransby Horses – far too young to be pregnant. Pregnancy can be a high-risk time for any horse, but this is heightened when the horse is very young. A filly can reach sexual maturity from as little as 12 months, at which time she can become pregnant, although she may not be physically mature until the age of 4-6 years.

When a filly becomes pregnant at a very young age, she channels nutrients that she would usually require for growth and development herself into the growth and development of her foal. This can lead to lifelong complications for the filly, as she has been compromised at a vital stage of her own development.

Are you considering putting your horse in foal? Make sure you are knowledgeable and fully consider the welfare of your horse and the foal, their aftercare and all associated costs to decide if this is the right course of action for you. Bransby Horses encourages responsible breeding and recommends reading this leaflet from World Horse Welfare.

We thank you for your support and by sharing this news with you, we hope to raise awareness of the severe risk involved in breeding from physically immature mares.

Help us to continue our work in rescuing horses like Daenerys and giving them the best possible care by considering making a donation to Bransby Horses here.