‘Identical’ filly shire foals could be a first

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A “glowing” shire mare gave her owner a delightful — and incredibly rare — surprise by delivering twin filly foals last month.

Helen Harries, of Llandysul, Ceredigion, told H&H she “couldn’t believe it” when discovering the two foals, who look identical, in the field with their dam Penlan Ceri Rose.

“They were both standing and trying to suckle,” she said.

Pictures courtesy of www.emyronline.co.uk

Mrs Harries said Ceri, who she describes as “a totally chilled-out mum”, had an easy pregnancy.

“We had no idea she was carrying twins as she’d been scanned in-foal to one,” she said. “We took her to 15 shows last year, something we wouldn’t have dreamed of doing had we known she was expecting twins. But she won two supremes and 12 championships, it was her best season ever — she was glowing!”

The foals, Penbryn Celtic Lucky Lass and Penbryn Celtic Lucky Lady, are by shire horse of the year Ddrydwy Ploughman. Mrs Harries says the whole family is doing well.

Breeding expert Dr Jonathan Pycock told H&H: “As far as I’m aware, there is nothing in veterinary literature about identical twin foals surviving to term, which would make these fillies a first. But, just because they look identical doesn’t mean that, genetically, they are. Despite that, all twins are rare, so it’s wonderful to hear about these two.”

H&H readers can see the happy family in action at Aberystwyth show on 11 June and then at the Royal Welsh in July.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (2 June, 2011)

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk