A project to transmit the birth of a shire foal at the National Trust’s Wimpole Farm over the internet has ended sadly, with the death of the foal.

Queenie went into labour yesterday (12 July) and gave birth to a filly at 11.45pm.

But the foal was not breathing and despite efforts to save her she died a few minutes after birth.

Farmer manager Richard Morris said: “As you can imagine, we are all devastated by this awful and unexpected outcome.

“Although watchers of the foaling on the webcam saw the true, grim realities of animal husbandry this in no way belittles the personal sense of tragedy and loss we are all feeling.

“This bitter disappointment is tempered only with the fact that the filly foal did not suffer at all.”

The National Trust’s MyFarm project, which started in May, aims to reconnect people with the realities of life on a working, commercial farm.

Richard continued: “It was a huge decision for us to do a live broadcast of the birth.

“There was never a guarantee that the foaling would be straight forward and unfortunately, this proved to be the case.

“But we didn’t want to hide the risks involved from people.”

This morning, Queenie is doing well. She has been turned out into her paddock and the farm is speaking to the vet to find out the best way to stop her milk production.

They hope to take her back to the stallion in approximately three weeks to see if she can become pregnant once more.

There is no reason to believe that Queenie won’t foal successfully in the future, they said.