Standardbred Stories: The Brother From Another Mother

from Kawartha Downs

There’s a broodmare at Joanne Colville’s High Stakes Farm, Emprize Hanover, who will be receiving extra presents on Mother’s Day next month due to her loving welcome of an orphan foal despite already having a newborn of her own. Her wonderful, feel good story has become an Internet sensation over the past few weeks since Joanne shared it on her Facebook page.

The story began on March 4 when Emprize Hanover delivered a filly by E L Titan. It was the fourth foal for the Credit Winner mare owned by Chris Christoforou Sr., the grandfather of Joanne’s daughter Emma.

Eleven days later Emprize Hanover’s friend and pasture buddy Noble Flirt foaled a good sized Holiday Road colt. Unfortunately Noble Flirt died during the delivery leaving Joanne scrambling to find colostrum for the youngster.

“As soon as it happened we were able to get milk from Emprize for him as she was the only mare at that time with a foal,” explained Joanne. “I started phoning around looking for a nurse mare and drove to Darlene Hayes’ place nearby for the colostrum and went to the feed store for milk replacement.

Photo courtesy of Kawartha Downs
Emprize Hanover keeps an eye on her “two foals” at High Stakes Farm.

“We got a couple of bottles into him and I’m thinking ‘what are we going to do? This is a nightmare.’ Then the foal started to call and Emprize Hanover called back to him. So my ingenious daughter comes up with the idea of putting him in with Emprize and her foal.

“Emma and her friend put the foal on a cooler and carried him into her stall,” related Joanne. “The mare sniffed him and licked him so they gently lowered him on the cooler into the straw. The colt still hadn’t been up at this point.”

Joanne and Emma kept a close eye on the situation but Emprize Hanover made it easy as she quickly accepted the newcomer and didn’t bat an eye when he was standing and starting to nurse.

“The only issue we had was with the filly who thought he was a new playmate, she was 12 days older and he was newborn. But as soon as he was able he gave her the ‘leave me alone’ message and she got it and they’ve been best buddies since then,” noted Joanne who is the administrative coordinator for the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, Chair of Standardbred Canada and outrider on the WEG tracks as well as operating a breeding farm.

“Emprize Hanover has been an absolute godsend, she’s worth her weight in gold. I sent Murray Brown (the PR Director at Hanover Shoe Farms, which bred Emprize Hanover) a private message the other day and said ‘you raised her right.’

“I’ve had countless people tell me they’ve never heard of a situation like this before, where a mare with a foal that old would accept a newborn. We call the colt the brother from another mother.

“What’s really nice as well is it’s proven to be a feel good story for a lot of people who follow my Facebook page. They send all kinds of messages about how it makes their day and when I haven’t posted photos of the pair for a couple of days, I hear about it.”

For her trouble, Emprize Hanover gets a couple of extra meals a day and the foals, who are known around the stable as Junior and Elena, have their own creep feeder for themselves to start to learn to eat on their own.

“She gets an extra lunch, all the hay she wants and I feed her again just before midnight,” noted Joanne. “She’s earned every bite.”

Anyone interested in meeting the trio are welcome to the Open House at High Stakes Stables near Moffat, Ontario, on Mother’s Day next month in the afternoon.

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