View Full Version : What is the oldest mare you have had a successful birthing from?
Nov. 23, 2008, 08:46 AM
I have a friend who really wanted a Claim to Fame foal out of her fantastic Warmblood mare........
She caught the first try as a 23 year old, but lost the pregnancy. The owner thinks it was from using daily wormer??
We tried to rebreed at 24...only once because of TWO screw ups by Fed Ex and then it was getting too late in the South........timed it perfectly but she didn't catch. The mare is still foxhunting this year and is in fantastic shape!!
She's expecting to have to give up on breeding her........because of her age. I'm not advocating it, as I, too, have the mare's best interest at heart. However, I just noticed another thread about how OLD a STALLION can be to still breed, and it made me wonder.....
What's the oldest mare you've heard of having a successful pregnancy with a perfect foal?
Nov. 23, 2008, 10:45 AM
I personally did not breed these girls- but worked on a TB farm in KY for a while- there were 2 old girls- the one was 28 & had a foal every year since she was like 17- last i knew she weas in foal & gonna be 29 when foaling
and the other was 26- had a foal every other year since she was about 10
Me personally, 23 and my other mare was 22
Nov. 23, 2008, 10:47 AM
Our foundation mare Piroschka gave birth to her last foal at 23 yrs. We put her to sleep at 28 after she suffered with rapidly worsening arthritis. Her mother SPS Firnbrot's last foal was born when she was 21 yrs old (she developed what's commonly referred to as hoof-cancer) two yrs later and was humanely destroyed when she was 24 yrs. Her daughter Gadina delivered her latest at 23 and in good health (she died suddenly that summer and was in foal again).
The pony mare I 'grew up on' Gretchen (bless her!) gave birth to her last foal when she was well over 30yrs old. When she was put to sleep she was closer to 45 (we've had her for 40 yrs and she was 'said' to be 6 when my father had bought her from a dealer. This is also the oldest an equine has ever been on our farm.
Hillside H Ranch
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:01 AM
I foaled out a mare for a client last year that was 26 years old. She looked every bit of her age and was not bred back (a racing-bred Quarter Horse). One of my mares had a big, healthy colt this year at 23 years of age; it was a late foal and she did not catch on the one try to breed her back for an ET. We will try again early this spring.
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:04 AM
I assisted a 27 yr old mare - she was in fabulous shape and although that was her last foal, last time I checked she was still sound and being ridden. I don't think I would risk it on my own mare, but I do think it depends on the mares condition. This 27yr old looked like a 14 yr old...and I know there are plenty of TB mares who have produced until that point...while randomly looking at pedigress I have come across quite a few.
This famous mare produced her last foal at 25 ;)
Fairview Horse Center
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:18 AM
My 24 year old mare gave birth to her (at least) 12th foal. Easy breeder, and easy delivery, but unfortunately we lost her 2 days later. Part of me says even young mares die after foaling, but the other part of me questions her age. I kept feeling her body would tell me when she was done, either by being difficult to get in foal, or maintaining weight, etc. She was actually much easier to keep weight on when she was pregnant, and just loved her job.
Here she is at 23, doing what she always did, just in the background, letting her baby shine.
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:29 AM
I'm lucky though. . I have CONNEMARAS :D But, on a serious note our oldest mare who foaled a big, healthy colt last February is 20, will be 21 next Spring (doesn't look a day over 11!!) She has conceived on her first live cover (again) for an '09 foal. Hoping and Praying that she will again have a healthy foal for 2009. :)
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:35 AM
We bred a QH mare at 26 and had a healthy colt the following spring. The remarkable thing about it was it had been 9 years since her last foal. No one had been trying to breed her during those 9 years, she had just been used as a trail horse.
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:40 AM
So far for us, 24, a pretty bay filly. We didn't rebreed her at 24 thinking she deserved to "retire". Then this summer, at 25 she looked great AND turned into a raging hussy. She would try to shove past whatever mare you were trying to get out the gate to try and get to the stallion. So I said FINE you old hussy and took her to the stallion thinking she probably wouldn't settle anyway. Only one breeding, but guess what? Yup, pregnant. She still looks great, no issues so time will tell.
Nov. 23, 2008, 11:56 AM
My old Ango-Arab mare was bred at 28 and foaled at 29. She was finally put down at 35 but a couple years before she was put down, she took on an orphan pony foal. That mare LIVED to be a mother <smile>.
Equine Reproduction Short Courses
Check out our Holiday Enrollment Special!
Nov. 23, 2008, 12:22 PM
That's a really good point Equine. . I believe that some mares DO live to be moms, hahaha and then there are others would could just care less. As for the live-to-be-mamas, I say let them be mamas :winkgrin: (as long as they phyiscally, mentally, healthily can of course). . .adoption is a great therapy too and/or the Old Auntie role ;-)
Iron Horse Farm
Nov. 24, 2008, 11:25 AM
I have told this story before, but the very 1st barn that I boarded at had a mare foal her 1st and only foal at 29. Unplanned, it seems that a stud jumped in with her and they were able to uneventfully get him back where he belonged. No one thought to check the 28 year old mare that had never had a foal! Surprise!
We had a pony that we rescued at 30, give birth the spring afte we rescued her! She lived 5 more years and her foal is now my children's pony.
Nov. 24, 2008, 11:46 AM
How old were your mares when you first bred then? My mare had a foal when she was 5, and is now 16 she still cycles normally, but are there any special precautions I need to take if I were to breed her this coming spring?
Nov. 24, 2008, 01:55 PM
A breeding soundness exam would be a smart move (cytology, culture, palpation/ultrasound) to make sure she's fit to carry a foal to term. 16 is not especially old for a first breeding - just make sure she's actually worth breeding, especially in this market!
Nov. 25, 2008, 11:48 PM
had problems carrying the 2 before that so this was her last one.had a caslicks, 10 days of ABX post cover, more than usual USs and started on ABX again until the end starting at 9 mos along when the US showed slight placentitis. Foaled out fine this time.....but she is done. Prior to that I had 2 mares that quit getting at foal at 21.
Nov. 26, 2008, 12:28 PM
Bred at 27, foaled at 28. Mare in good shape, good health, had had half a dozen foals previously, no problems. We did have her on depro provera injections throughout the pregnancy. It had been recommended to help to keep her from losing the pregnancy at the time. It was 25 years ago. These days, she probably would have been on regumate I guess. Was the success of the pregnancy due to this???? I dunno. Maybe it helped.
Nov. 26, 2008, 01:57 PM
A lot depends on the history of the mare and her overall condition. My oldest one was 26 and had no problems. Like "equine" said, she lived to be a mom and adopted an orphaned foal while nursing another. She would have nursed a third if need be, I'll bet. We finally retired her and she became the babysitter for the younger mares' weanlings. Gotta love that type of gal!:yes:
Nov. 26, 2008, 02:32 PM
In terms of "success," I know a pretty famous STB racehorse (Storm Damage) was foaled when his mom was 26.
Slightly off-topic, but..I've always been told from a racing perfomance standpoint, avoid fillies out of old mares, but colts are alright. I don't think the theory carries over into breeding a filly from an old mare. However, I do have to say in my experience, it rings pretty true. Though I would have no idea why that might be.