Friday February 3, 2012
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There comes a time when a mother and her offspring have to part ways. At around 5 months, the mare and foal bond isn"t as strong as it was, so much so that the foal won"t even bat an eye lid with the removal of it’s mum from the paddock.
Weaning is an extremely important part of a foal’s upbringing; in most cases this is their first one on one encounter with what will be a long term relationship, HUMANS! Although the mother and offspring’s bond has diminished somewhat, the progression from ‘foot loose and fancy free’ to educated is a big step and one that needs patience and kindness. There’s no better man for the job than KWH"s Matt Brown. Matt has an amazing way of working quietly and most importantly gives each foal the time he/she needs to come to terms with this transition. Matt stands at 6 foot 8 inches tall, and could pull-start a Mac Truck, but when dealing with these incredibly valuable and head sensitive babies Matt"s tremendous horsemanship shines year in year out. Working closely with each individual’s quirks, Matt hands the foals over to our yearling crew at the end of the two weeks like angels, and the guys always comment on the foals (now weanlings) willingness to learn.
The process commences with each foal (usually around 75 each year) handled on their mothers for the first week. This gives the foal more confidence, and to help with the first few steps they take under halter (head collar). Remembering that these babies have never felt head pressure (head collar and a lead), if you apply to much pressure on the lead too early, the foal will resent and fight against this pressure, usually by flipping over! So head pressure is slowly applied over week one teaching the foals to give to the pressure as opposed to fighting it. Along with plenty of handling - feet, ears, bellies, backs, tails etc, week one is plain sailing and on the Friday the foals are paired up with a mate, and say goodbye to their mums forever.
The mares are walked to a paddock just out of earshot of their babies, mums will continue to make milk if they hear their offspring’s call. This paddock is one with less pasture, (green feed) so they dry up quicker and stop making milk, avoiding problems like mastitis.
The foals are fed and watered and left quietly over the weekend with as little interaction as possible. Each morning of week two they are caught, handled, have their feet picked up, and are turned out with their mates for the day. Returning to their stable at night, this process continues for a 5 day routine. On Friday the farrier trims their feet and they are handed over to our yearling crew, to start the next phase!!
1 down 74 to go.
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"Weight for Age"
Weight for Age (WFA) is a term in Thoroughbred horse racing which is one of the conditions for a race. It means that a horse will carry a set weight in accordance with the Weight for Age Scale. This weight varies depending on the horse’s age, its sex, the race distance and the month of the year. Weight for age races are usually Group 1 races, races of the highest quality.
WFA is a method of trying to equal out the physical progress which the average thoroughbred racehorse makes as it matures. The thoroughbred matures extremely quickly compared to the human being. By the age of two the horse has achieved 95% of its mature height and weight, and by the end of its third year it will be fully mature. To allow for this variation in maturity in the context of racing, it is necessary to express it as a function of the weight a horse will carry in a race. It is also necessary to take into account the race distance because stamina comes with maturity, and younger horses are at a greater disadvantage the further they have to run. If no allowance was made, a mature older horse would always beat a younger one.
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FROM THE PADDOCK RUNNERS
ATC - Canterbury Night Meeting.
9:00pm Race 5 Canterbury BMW H., A$27000 1550m
Oh My Papa (AUS) 2007 (F. by Dane Shadow-Kas Nediym) - Racing well and after 2nd at Warwick Farm last start is ready to pounce here. Handles the heavy going. Good luck to her breeder Geoff Grimish and mates.
21:35 Race 4 The Down Royal, M$295000 1600m
Regimental Hero - Good Future (Mac.) (AUS) 2005 (G. by General Nediym-Sherborne Abbey) - Sold at Magic Millions 2007 for $140k. Has won 5 races but not for awhile. Good luck to his breeder Grahame Mapp.
Saturday February 4
Kembla Race 3.
13:55 Race 3 Maiden Plate, A$ 14000 1400m
One Rar (AUS) 2010 (Dane Shadow - Xaarbarella) - This horse is going places.Did you see his run first up over 1400. Blocked for room then nearly got them at the post. The big Kembla track will be ideal, he handles the wet. A high quality maiden but ....... Good luck to his breeder and owner Geoff Grimish.
2:00pm Race 5 Channel Seven H., A$45000 1350m
Lady Agulhas (AUS) 2006 (F. by Dane Shadow-Most Excellent) - Sold at Scone Inglis for $2000. Has won 5 races since then and continues to make that $2k look rather cheap.
Depasse (AUS) 2006 (F. by Exceed and Excel-Regal Prospect) -Sold at Easter 2008 for $100k. Lightly raced and won’t find this easy. Good luck Terry Dickson, her breeder.
3:10pm Race 4 Chairman"s S. L, A$100500 1100m
Pronto Pronto (AUS) 2009 (C. by Snitzel-Teresa) (Mare sold in foal for $75k. So only partially "from the paddock"). Makes debut here at stakes level and if she performs her breeder and seller C Holt will be kicking himself, again!
4:30pm Race 6 WJ Adams H. L, A$100500 1000m
Faster Son (AUS) 2006 (G. by Fastnet Rock-Sonata) - Sold at Scone Inglis for $45k. Has won 6 starts and $156k and has his first start for the highly regarded Mick Price stable. A very interesting runner and may offer good value.
3:30pm Race 5 CAMMS Risk Management H., A$34000 1600m
Euphoric Realm (AUS) 2005 (G. by Proud Citizen-Dialogue) - A home bred for Carl Holt who has subsequently sold him on. Might be a good thing (that he sold him that is).
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In This Email
· From The Paddock
· Get Out!!
· "What The?!?"
· Weekend Acceptances
Well, the weather forcasters were correct when they predicted a weeks worth of rain! The farm has received 110mm of rain.
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