A breeder has called the surprise birth of Connemara twin foals a “blessing”.
John and Anne Gunning’s 12-year-old mare Currachmore Cashe, known as Magic Molly, had been scanned in foal to Connemara stallion Coral Misty Bobby. It was believed she was carrying one foal but she unexpectedly gave birth to healthy twins on Friday morning (31 May).
John, from Ballymoe in County Galway, told H&H there were “absolutely no concerns” ahead of the birth.
“The mare was in the paddock at the back of the house and the night before I’d looked at her and thought she would foal the next day,” he said.
“In the morning my wife looked out of the window and said she thought she could see a pair of ears in the grass. I went outside and there was a foal on its own, I looked at the mare and she was giving birth to another foal. It was absolutely lashing down with rain so I had to get a little bit of help from my brother-in-law and we put them inside.”
John said the “cheeky” foals, who have been named Jack and Jill as they live on a steep hill, are flourishing.
“The vet said about 5% of pregnancies will fertilise two eggs and they’ll always look for twins at the scan. It’s about a 10,000 to one chance to have healthy twins on the ground,” said John.
“Magic Molly is an amazing mare. She lost a foal last year but she was in great condition and has kept that condition – that’s why you wouldn’t expect twins. She’s a great mum. It was like she wondered where the second foal had come from but she took to them straight away. They’re absolutely gorgeous.”
Article continued below…
Hannah Thomas' mare had been scanned and was believed to be carrying one embryo
The five-year-olds are both to make their competition debut this season, in what is thought to be a first for
John said Jack and Jill have caused a stir locally.
“People have been coming with carrots and apples for Molly, wanting to get photos,” he said.
“We’re giving Molly extra TLC and she’s quite happy. She has a paddock to herself and her two foals. They go in a shed at night and we have a camera to keep an eye on them – everything is going as planned.
“It’s a blessing. We’re having to pinch ourselves, it’s really incredible. We think Jack will be a dun, but possibly Jill as well – it’s very hard to tell at this stage. We don’t know the future plans for them yet, I’d love to keep Jill – they’re both very special.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.