When Tania Mackee’s horse gave birth to perfectly healthy identical twins, she was ecstatic.
Just eighteen months later, though, and the breeder is still in shock when the same mare beat odds of almost one million to one to give birth to a second pair of twins.
Arriving from a British stable over two weeks ago, the newest additions, who have not yet been given a name, are “healthy, strong, and very feisty.”
Though they are not identical like their predecessors, the new twins—a colt and a filly—are nonetheless very unusual.
A mother mare named Destiny gave birth to identical twins 18 months before, and then, in a 1 million to one chance delivery, she gave birth to the twin foals (shown). Near Exeter, they reside on a farm.
Twin births are uncommon in horses since the two embryos normally abort within six weeks of the mare becoming pregnant. Pictured above is Destiny with her second set of twins.
Horse breeder and owner Tania MacKee expressed her astonishment at her good fortune.
‘It’s incredible,’ said Mrs Mackee, the owner of Gassons Farm Stud near Exeter, where the horses were born. Despite my extensive experience in breeding, I have never heard of anything like before. It seemed unreal.
The fact that they were well is astounding. Strong and healthy foals, they are. They are really brash.
Twin births in horses are very rare; most twin embryos spontaneously abort within the first six weeks of pregnancy.
Roughly 80% of those who make it through the first six weeks will go on to get pregnant after that.
But in June 2018, against 10,000-1 odds, 19-year-old mare Liosin Lux, also known as Destiny, gave birth to healthy identical twins, colts GFS Shockwave and GFS Masta Blasta (GFS standing for Gassons Stud Farm).
Now, one foal resides in a professional show-jumping home, while the other is getting ready to start eventing.
The birth astounded the owner, MacKee, who said that she had never heard of anything such occurring before.
Given a year break from foaling, Mrs. Mackee made the decision to breed the Irish Sport Horse one final time this year. Her grandpa participated in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
An examination by a veterinarian confirmed that the mare was carrying a single foal and that she was not carrying twins. The reason the second foal was overlooked, as it did the previous time, was described by Mrs. Mackee as a “mystery.”
The mare will not be bred again, according to Mrs. Mackee, since the danger is too great.
“Twins are rare and they’re rare for a reason,” said Dr. Charles Cooke, a veterinary surgeon and director of Equine Reproductive Services. Anatomically, the horse is made to be able to carry a single pregnancy and then provide milk and sustenance for that single foal when it is born.
Horses seldom give birth to twins because the embryos are often terminated after six weeks of pregnancy.
Twin pregnancies may be hazardous to the mother, and most of them result in late-stage pregnancy loss. This is the reason this case is so unique and fascinating.
Since she “didn’t want lightning to strike twice,” Mrs. Mackee took cautious not to utilise the horse she had previously used.
The stallion from Estonia known as GFS Lord of the Dance, or Django, is the father of the most recent twins, who Mrs. Mackee described as “very athletic and move nicely.”