Tiny sur­prise af­ter earth moved

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

A minia­ture horse foal has been wel­comed into the world af­ter the earth moved for his de­ter­mined fa­ther.

The tiny colt was con­ceived on the night of the 7.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake in Novem­ber last year. His New Zealand grand cham­pion fa­ther, Rocket, was so spooked by the shakes he jumped over three fences into a pad­dock full of mares.

Marl­bor­ough owner An­gela Smith said he was just mak­ing sure they were safe, but the wily stal­lion took ad­van­tage of his free­dom to cre­ate a last­ing mem­ory of the night.

While un­steady on his feet and mea­sur­ing barely 84 cen­time­tres tall, the as-yet-un­named foal has all the mak­ings of a fu­ture cham­pion.

Proud mum Fly, 9, de­liv­ered the colt two weeks early last Wednesday. And staff at the Vet Cen­tre, in Blenheim, who helped care for the tiny new ar­rival, are run­ning a com­pe­ti­tion to name the colt.

Lit­tle res­cue horse Fly was one of 18 minia­ture horses cared for at Withaview Minia­ture Horse Stud in Koromiko, north of Blenheim.

An­gela took her in six years ago af­ter sav­ing her from be­ing put down.

‘‘She’s a great mum and is very pro­tec­tive. ‘‘Once I moved them into the shed, I had to leave the light on for him as he couldn’t see where he was go­ing and kept bump­ing into things,’’ she said.

Stay­ing close to mum’s side, the minia­ture sil­ver dap­ple Pinto has been get­ting a lot of at­ten­tion since his early ar­rival.

Two pet lambs and two calves have kept a close eye on him.

Both mare and colt have been put on an­tibi­otics to be on the safe side, An­gela said.

A minia­ture horse must be no taller than 86cm, mea­sured to the top of the shoul­ders, where the mane ends.

A full-grown mini weighs be­tween 68 kilo­grams and 114kg.

Although some minis re­sem­ble ponies, the goal of minia­ture horse breed­ers is to cre­ate a tiny horse, with ev­ery­thing about it the same as a full-sized horse, only smaller.

An­gela said she planned to keep the new ad­di­tion. ‘‘There’s some­thing re­ally spe­cial about him,’’ she said.

Visit the The Vet Cen­tre Marl­bor­ough’s Face­book page to sug­gest a name for the new foal.


Barely 84 cen­time­tres tall, the tiny foal can be eas­ily swept up by owner An­gela Smith.

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