Encore! Encore! First MHC Foal Born!

See photos below!

For the first time in recorded College history, a foal has been born on campus. "Encore," the son of Saucey and Bert's Dale Hombre, came into the world at 10:55 pm on January 27. Joanne Bonano, director of the Equestrian Center, said the new colt is "a beautiful chestnut with a white blaze and four white `socks.'" She said the baby is "healthy and handsome," and was on its feet and nursing within an hour after birth. Saucey is also doing well and is proving to be a very good mother, according to Bonano.

Although Saucey was very protective of her new colt the day after his birth, she's expected to welcome visitors in a few days. The campus community can drop by the barn any time between 9 am and 4 pm to see the new addition.

Bonano and about a dozen other staff members and students held a "foal watch" the night before and the evening of the birth, sleeping in the barn and taking turns checking on Saucey's condition. "About 10 pm Tuesday, she lay down and groaned, but then she got up again and ate hay like there was nothing wrong," said Bonano. "We waited all night Tuesday but she faked us out." The foal watchers played board games and sang songs to pass the time.

By Wednesday evening, Bonano and stable manager Lynne Waldron were more than primed for the birth. Bonano had experienced the birth of many foals during years working on a breeding farm, and Waldron had read extensively to be prepared to help with her first equine delivery. Saucey gave birth quickly, in about five minutes after she lay down, and delivered early enough Wednesday evening for everyone­except Saucey, presumably­to get a good night's sleep.

The name Encore was chosen from about a dozen entries in the "Name that Foal Contest" announced last fall. Rosemary Alonso '01, a rider who was part of the "foal watch," submitted the winning name.

Encore will stay at a local farm until the summer, and Bonano is searching for a farm that will volunteer to take Encore for a year or so after that so he can grow up with lots of room to run and play. She hopes Encore will then become a permanent campus resident.

Photos by Ted S. Warren

Saucey cleans Encore while visitors look on.

Stable Manager Lynne Waldron (left) and Equestrian center director Joanne Bonano help Encore to his feet for the first time less than an hour after his birth.