A nanny goat has taken an orphaned filly under her wing after the foal lost her mother at two weeks old.
Goat Sheshe and foal Iggy Pop have struck up a firm friendship after the filly’s tragic start.
Photos of the pair at a Swedish Warmblood Association of North America (SWANA) foal inspection in Colts Neck, New Jersey, on 21 September — at which Iggy Pop (by H.Vortex) was awarded premier filly status — have warmed hearts across the world.
Owner Katarina Antens-Miller told H&H her mare LA Baltic Morningstar suddenly went very lame with acute founder (laminitis) weeks before she was due to foal and the outcome did not look promising.
With the help of vets, they made they mare as comfortable as they could in the hope of giving her unborn foal the best possible chance of survival.
“She had the foal and we tried for another two weeks to save her, but she was in so much pain we had to put her down,” said Katarina.
“It was really sad, but we are all realistic and I knew [when the foal was born] that I had about two weeks in which to find a nurse mare.
“Everyone, all my friends, were calling around the whole of the US to try and find one.
“I was getting a little panicked as the vet told me that we needed to put the mare down [and I still hadn’t found a foster mother].”
Some friends in the racing industry suggested a goat who had taken care of foals before.
Iggy Pop was understandably distraught at the loss of her mother and initially wanted nothing to do with Sheshe, but with help and reassurance, she started to pay attention to the goat. As she did, Katarina was able to encourage the filly to take some formula feed.
“It took a week or so for them to bond, but now they are inseparable,” she added.
“They stay in the same stable and sleep together and spend all day long in the field together.
“If anything scares Iggy, she runs to the goat — they play with one another in the field together, it is like the filly knows that she can’t play as she would with another filly [and is very gentle towards the goat].
“As you can see in the picture, they were presented at the SWANA inspection together. All the other foals had come with their mares, but Iggy had her goat with her.”
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
An orphaned foal has adopted a teddy bear to keep him company
From alpacas to rabbits, here is our selection of horses and ponies with the most unlikely animal friends
This special offer is limited so grab your free gift plus a subscription to Horse & Hound from just £24.99
The judges told Katarina they “had never seen” an orphan foal looking so healthy and developed, awarding her premium status.
Katarina has already lined up another foal friend for Iggy Pop to spend some time with, but for now, Sheshe is doing a wonderful job of babysitting.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday