An Exeter stud is enjoying a stream of visitors to its website due to an enterprising “Foal Cam”.
Visitors to www.rollestonefarm.com can watch foals being born thanks to the ingenuity of stud owners Chris Arden and Sarah Box.
“I was putting in a security system anyway and decided it would be useful to have webcams in the foaling box so we can keep an eye on it from the house,” said Mr Arden. “We have 10 mares due this year and will have 14 due next. We’ve only ever missed one foaling but it’s good to be able to keep a close eye on things.”
Foal Cams are popular in America, but Mr Arden believes Rollestone Farm Stud in Pennsylvania, Devon, might be the first to offer live foaling videos in the UK.
The system has proved so popular that Rollestone has linked up to the popular video sharing site, YouTube, to enable more viewers to watch the videos at the same time.
“We were getting 800 to 1,000 hits a day — it’s really surprising what interest this has generated,” said Mr Arden. “On the first day we were one of the top four featured videos on YouTube.
“Eventually we hope to have a camera in each stable so that livery clients can keep an eye on their horses from home.”
Meanwhile Stallion AI Services, based at Twemlows Hall in Shropshire, has announced the installation of “StalCam”.
Kate Fox, whose stallion H Tobago was recently in residence at the yard, said: “I was delighted to be able to click on and watch him — although it was so fascinating that I ended up getting very little work done!
“I was in fits of giggles watching as a groom tried to skip out Tobago’s box while he followed her around, poking his nose over her shoulder in his usual inquisitive manner!”
Visit www.stallionai.com to see what the stallions are up to.