This is a story of an orphan thoroughbred foal and his breeder who have succeeded despite the challenges placed before them.
On the evening of September 10th, Glen Eden Thoroughbreds’ mare Manhattan Dream decided it was time for her first foal to greet the world.
The Kilmore based farm run by experienced horseperson Sonia Carboni greeted colt that evening by Blue Gum Farm’s sire War.
Sadly, Manhattan Dream passed away twenty minutes later leaving behind a healthy albeit now orphaned foal.
The local breeding network swung into action (as it does often in these unfortunate circumstances) and a mare, Razz and Red, was offered by Euroa’s Noor Elaine Farm. The newborn, nicknamed Atomic, took to the foster mum quickly.
“She was a beautiful mare with an incredibly kind nature,” Sonia said.
But, alas, when Atomic was just six weeks old, Razz and Red presented with colic and was euthanased with a suspected twisted bowel.
“It was very upsetting to all involved,” said Sonia.
“Poor little Atomic was alone once again. Efforts to get him to drink from a bottle or bucket were futile. He was very depressed and flat although he would eat hay and drink water.”
And here is where the story took a unique twist.
“A couple of nanny mares were trialled to find a kind companion and finally we found Brambles. “
Brambles, owned by Terry Henderson and Simon O’Donnell’s OTI Racing, won more than $825,000 on the track under the tutelage of Peter Moody. He won the Group 1 Queensland Derby and ran in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Brambles was retired at age seven due to a tendon injury and called Kilmore home at Simon O’Donnell’s property.
“Bramble is a very gentle kind soul and befriended Atomic,” Sonia said.
After the two setbacks with the deceased mares, Atomic fell behind in terms of weight, but with Brambles on the scene he improved markedly.
“He is a tough little mite!” exclaims Sonia.
Happily four months later, Atomic is now doing really well and putting on lots of weight.
And he also has a new friend in the form of another orphan, a Reward for Effort filly from another farm.
“They are in love and sleep together all the time,” Sonia said.
Sonia’s story of double tragedy and ultimately happiness for two young orphaned foals is a great example of the care breeders have for their horses.
And it is also a great story of the work done by retired racehorses, in this case a genuine retired star of the track.