The students at Upland Country Day School had a visit from New Bolton Center’s Dr. Regina Turner, VMD. PhD, Associate of Large Animal Reproduction, last week.
Dr. Turner is treating My Special Girl, the pregnant mare being followed by more than 113,000 viewers in 112 countries on Foal Cam through her pregnancy and birth. Dr. Turner talked with Upland students about My Special Girl, her foal and the FoalCam. She answered their questions on everything from how long a foal’s gestation is (about 340 days) to what her mood has been as she gets closer to giving birth -- a little cranky, but that's understandable with a 100-pound foal kicking her from the inside -- to how long it takes to for a mare to deliver her foal (typically 20 minutes and usually in the middle of the night).
My Special Girl is due to give birth soon, and it is her first pregnancy. The foal's gender is being kept under wraps by New Bolton Center, but there will be a naming contest when it is born.
The students and faculty at Upland, located across the street from New Bolton Center in Kennett
Square, have been following My Special Girl enthusiastically on FoalCam since the site went live on Feb. 26. They presented Dr. Turner with cards for the mother-to-be and 10 pounds of carrots with pink and blue ribbons for My Special Girl’s pregnancy cravings.
Dr. Turner explained that My Special Girl is a surrogate horse and the pregnancy she’s carrying was conceived by a method called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, similar to the technique to help women get pregnant. It’s the first successful horse pregnancy by Penn Vet using the advanced reproductive technique.
The live broadcast is available on the Penn Vet website at www.vet.upenn.edu/FoalCam.