Births are spurred by new Minnesota Born and Bred racing program

    The new Minnesota Born and Bred racing program is a movement by the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association to help Minnesota breeders succeed. By setting in new standards that horses born in Minnesota will be able to compete in certain stake races or earn certain purses. This new initiative is what led to The University of Minnesota Crookston to house five mares, owned by Stanley Schultz from Redfield, South Dakota. The mares are being cared for and foaled at the UMC equine barns under video surveillance and limited human watch, due to the campus shutdown spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    At 8:40 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, the University of Minnesota Crookston equine barns were more alive than ever when a student on foal watch alerted staff that it appeared a mare was displaying foaling activity. The mare, Belle, in fact had her foal on Sunday night at 9:45 p.m., with minimal assistance and oversight from necessary faculty and staff. The first Minnesota-bred foal was born happy and healthy, even going for his first run with his mother in the indoor arena Tuesday morning, March 31. He was given the temporary barn name Dallas by the student who called in the foaling, who will be doing an internship in Dallas, Texas.

    Nicky Overgaard, Equine Science instructor at UMC, said, “We recorded the birth, and were able to use it in our online course. All the students could see the birth and discuss, still able to learn from home.”

    Belle was the first of five to foal, with three mares overdue and one due in mid-April.

    That status changed on Wednesday, April 1, when another mare foaled.

    “She fooled us this morning and laid down after her 6 a.m. check and had a lovely bay colt,” Overgaard wrote on the Equine Science Facebook page. “Our second Minnesota-born and bred foal is on the ground and running.”