Kentucky Farm Matches Heartbroken Mare With Rejected Foal Horse trainer Carrie Brogden tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro a heartwarming tale from Machmer Hall Farm in Paris, Ky., about placing an orphaned foal with a bereft mare.
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Kentucky Farm Matches Heartbroken Mare With Rejected Foal

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Kentucky Farm Matches Heartbroken Mare With Rejected Foal

Kentucky Farm Matches Heartbroken Mare With Rejected Foal

Kentucky Farm Matches Heartbroken Mare With Rejected Foal

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Horse trainer Carrie Brogden tells NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro a heartwarming tale from Machmer Hall Farm in Paris, Ky., about placing an orphaned foal with a bereft mare.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Every once in a while, a news story comes along that reaffirms your belief in humanity and in horses. Earlier this year at Machmer Hall Farm in Paris, Ky., a mare gave birth to a foal that for some reason it rejected. Owners Craig and Carrie Brogden had an idea, though. They introduced the new baby to Maizelle, a mare whose own foal died shortly after birth. And that's when the magic happened. Carrie Brogden joins me now with more of the story.

Carrie, welcome.

CARRIE BROGDEN: Hi. Thank you so much for allowing us to share our story.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, so the colt and Maizelle were - they were hurting, right? One wanting a mother and the other one wanting a foal.

BROGDEN: Well, it's funny. Maizelle is 15 years old, so she's had several foals. Her foal is basically stillborn. She never took a breath, and she passed right after the foaling process. So it was very, very sad.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And Maizelle was upset, obviously.

BROGDEN: You know, it's funny - a lot of the mares when you leave the foal - you know, the foal is deceased - they'll accept that they know that their baby did not make it and will stop searching for it. You know, the next day, Maizelle's still looking for her foal. And every time Craig would walk by this stall, she would knicker. She would be like, hello (ph) - it's a (mimicking horse sounds). The horses do just for her to say, hey, what's going on? Where's my baby?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And then you have this colt who was rejected by his mother.

BROGDEN: Yeah. So two days later, we have a baby born to a mare named Taste of Red (ph). And within the next 24 hours, the baby's trying to nurse and the mare is trying to salvage it, double barrel - which is what we call kicking at the foal, not letting the foal nurse. Craig called me and said, you know, we've got to find another mother for this baby, or this mare is going to kill her own foal.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So take us to that meeting between Maizelle and the unwanted colt because, obviously, you had a match there.

BROGDEN: Yes. My husband called me, and he said - I'm sorry. I'm trying to get through this without being emotional. He called me, and he said, you know, I know it's been a couple of days, but I'm going to try to put Maizelle with the rejected baby. So he hooked up Maizelle, the mare, and he brought it to the stall where the foal was by itself. And the foal was just laying quietly. And Maizelle walked in the stall. The foal stood up. He went to nurse. She put her nose down, and she was like, my baby. You found it. Oh, I'm so happy. And that was it. And I was just overwhelmed with joy of how quickly the mare accepted a new baby when she'd lost her own. And I'm sure that happens a lot in the human world. And I'm glad to be able to pass it on when it happens in the horse world, too.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Carrie Brogden of Machmer Hall Farm in Paris, Ky., thank you so much for that.

BROGDEN: Thank you so much for calling. I really appreciate it.

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