Days-old foal saved by transfusion from fellow equine patient

  • A days-old foal has made a full recovery after she was given a life-saving blood transfusion by a horse already at a vet surgery for a bone scan.

    Legend (pictured, below), a 16.3hh Danish warmblood owned by Allison Blake, was at Arundel Equine Hospital on 25 June when the three-day old foal was rushed in as she has “gone floppy and couldn’t be woken up”, according to her owner.

    Vets discovered she had suffered an allergic reaction to her mother’s colostrum.

    “The vet rang me that evening to say the foal had come in needing a blood transfusion and would I agree to Legend being tested for being a possible donor,” said Mrs Blake, who works at Plumpton Racecourse as a racing and event executive..

    A couple of hours later the vets rang back to say the 16-year-old chestnut was a match.

    legend foal

    “The foal needed the transfusion to survive, so I was very happy to help,” Mrs Blake told H&H.

    The procedure took place that night and the foal, which is named Phoebe, has since made a complete recovery.

    “Our vets spotted the problem very quickly otherwise she would have died,” said the foal’s owner, showjumper Lori Hanan, who is based at Charlotte Platt and Lee Williams’ yard in West Sussex.

    “Thank you so much to Legend’s owner. We owe her out little foal,” she added.

    The foal comes from famous showjumping lines; she is by Balou Du Rouet and her dam is by Burggraaf.

    Mrs Blake met the foal when she went to collect her horse.

    “I’m so proud of my gorgeous Legend. He was very brave and came through the procedure well,” she said.

    It just seemed like fate that he was in the hospital as the foal came in and was a good blood match. What’s more, I thought it was lovely that they look so similar.”

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