According to a Feb. 19 news release on the Delaware Valley University (DelVal) website, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association (PHRA) is partnering with DelVal and Whysper Wynd Farm to offer livestream coverage of pregnant mares as they prepare to foal. With several cameras installed at DelVal’s breeding facilities and at Whysper Wynd Farm, viewers will have live views of the births of nine foals (five from DelVal and four from Whysper Wynd Farm). Now through the end of April, DelVal’s foal cameras can be viewed free of charge on the PHRA’s website at pennhorseracing.com/foalcams.
The “foal cam” project was first proposed by the PHRA in the hope that DelVal’s students and faculty might be interested. “They knew of our history of strong breeding programs, and after many conversations and working out the logisitics, it became an official partnership,” says DelVal’s Chair of the Department of Equine Science and Management, Dr. Cory Kieschnick.
Educating future horse breeders
“Viewers will get to see the unique part of DelVal’s Equine Science and Management program, which is the opportunity for our students to be integrally involved in the whole foaling process. They’ll see how involved our students are in every aspect of care and management for both the mare and the foal, a reflection of the strong emphasis of hands-on learning in all of our programs here at DelVal,” explains Kieschnick.
Viewers will observe students in and out of the foaling stalls checking the mares. In addition, they will see students helping in the process as the foals are born. “Viewers will also get to see mare and foal pairs after they’ve moved on from the foaling stalls,” Kieschnick adds.
DelVal’s first foal of 2023 was born on February 7 and was named “Gouda.” DelVal has a tradition of creating a new naming convention for all of their foals, and this year’s theme is “cheese.”
“A big benefit of this partnership is that DelVal’s Equine Science and Management program can truly showcase what we do here and our strengths in experiential learning. It’s also a great opportunity for people to see the whole foaling process when they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance. It’s a magical experience and a unique opportunity for the general public,” says Kieschnick.
Additionally, PHRA is organizing virtual field trips to DelVal and Whysper Wynd Farm for elementary school teachers who are interested in educating their students about foaling.
To view the livestream foal cameras at Delaware Valley University and Whysper Wynd Farm, visit pennhorseracing.com/foalcameras.