One year ago today, Marrakesh was born. I was so excited for his arrival- after all, I waited over a year for Gina to foal!
He was cute and curious, but he struggled from the get-go. He was thin, weak, and small. Once helped to his feet, he nursed vigorously, but tired quickly. Marrakesh rallied a couple of times, but just wasn’t strong enough to fight off the infections that raged in his tiny body. Just over a month after he was born, I decided to end his life.
I like to remember the joy I felt when I saw him for the first time. I remember how he zipped around the paddock on one of his best days. How soft his downy foal coat felt. How long and thick his curly tail was. The way he peeked out from under Gina’s belly.
I am often asked if it was a hard decision to euthanize him. It wasn’t- he was clearly suffering, and his veterinary team had tried everything. The care he received was excellent, and no expense was spared for his treatment. When his hock joint became infected and didn’t respond to treatment, I knew that even if he survived, he wouldn’t have a pleasant life.
Another question I frequently get is if I’ll breed Gina again. That’s a harder decision. The entire breeding endeavor, from stud fee to veterinary care pre and post-partum, totaled about $15,000. That’s a lot of money for me, and I don’t have enough saved up to spend another $15,000 if things go sideways again. Breeding is still appealing to me, but Gina isn’t getting any younger. I will probably not breed Gina again. Maybe some day I will breed another mare and try to produce another horse for myself.
But today, right now, I will hug Gina and remember her flashy and imperfect foal who left us too soon.