Introducing the first Salt River foal of 2024, a healthy filly, born on March 25th!

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Introducing the first Salt River foal of 2024, a healthy filly, born on March 25th!

Introducing the first Salt River foal of 2024, a healthy filly, born on March 25th!

As the first “on purpose” foal, here are some of the details we factored into the decision to leave mare Venus “open”.

(Photo from 60 ft distance by SRWHMG photographer Rick Blandford monitoring her health on day one)

Proud that we are keeping our lofty promises to the government in reducing the herd size through fertility control, we also want to make sure that we have a healthy renewal of the herd, for genetic viability into the future.

Therefore, we have difficult decisions to make and these are the details we factor in:

Venus is a strong healthy mare with good conformation and she has never had a foal. She has a solid established family band, which includes her mother still by her side, many aunties plus two lieutenant stallions. – These are details that are important for the survivability of the foal and the mother.

Venus bloodlines are amazing. She was born on April 9th 2019 in Sarge’s band, out of the beautiful mare Athena (who is out of mare Blondie by sire Halftail, both long deceased.)
Mother Athena and (then) yearling Venus were “stolen” by stallion Orion when Sarge suffered hoof separation from VSV. (VSV was going through the herd at the time). Sarge fully recovered from that condition, but never recovered his band.

Venus who was just a yearling at the time was darted at 11 months of age, which was a good thing, or she would have become pregnant right away ( this often occurs immediately when mares get stolen by another stallion.)

Venus subsequently received her 4 boosters in time and was last darted in 2022. After 4 boosters (which is 5 total darts) we expected it to take at least 2 years for Venus to become pregnant, but she became pregnant immediately the first year when her dart was skipped! It then took 11 months for Venus to deliver this beautiful filly. (Interestingly, according to the science, after 4 boosters it can take 2 to 3 years for the mare to return to fertility)

The sire to our new filly is lead stallion Orion.

He is a healthy young lead stallion with no offspring yet. His parents are Threesocks and the late stallion Moon. His dam Threesocks was out of mare Hope and by sire Wisdom, both long deceased.

So in this filly we have the bloodlines of 4 amazing Salt River patriarchs! Sarge and Moon are the grandfathers and Halftail and Wisdom are the great-grandfathers!

Venus inherited the grey factor from dad Sarge, but because her mother is a bay, she is not a dominant grey. This means that the chance of her offspring being grey is 50/50. Our filly does NOT appear to have the grey factor.

Please join us in wishing the very best wild and free life for this filly, and for the mountain lion to stay far away, because that definitely is a concern now.

We would like to thank the selfless photographers who joined us in protecting mom and baby (from mobs of public wanting to catch a glimpse of her) by giving her 2 weeks to bond with her family and get strong on her legs. We so appreciate the focus on the baby’s well being instead of getting the “credit” of posting the news first.

The copycat pages who posted her pictures anyway while knowing and disregarding the safety guideline, appear to care about themselves more than they care about the baby’s well being. (by drawing out too many people to their location too soon).

P.S 1 This birth proves a few points for PZP

  1. Even after 5 darts the mare came into fertility easily and right away
  2. Even after 5 darts the mare gave birth in the spring, which is the best time to be born.
  3. The science already proved that many dartings of PZP does not harm mother or foal in utero, but this is extra confirmation of a healthy mother and foal.

P.S.2 Our fertility program is going exceptionally well, in fact better than we had expected ourselves, because the science counts on only 95% efficacy of the PZP innoculation. Our program results so far are 99.5% as only one mare who received her booster in time became pregnant, and all of the other mares who received their boosters in time, did NOT become pregnant. More than a dozen mares who received their booster late because they could not be found, also did NOT become pregnant.

Please join us in applauding fertility control as opposed to cruel removals and help us welcome the beautiful offspring of Venus and Orion! We will start the naming contest in the next post!

Thank you everyone! #managethemhumanely