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Social services in pre-dawn raid over baby horse mix-up

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 13 Apr 2010, 11:51

Published: 13 Apr 2010 11:51 GMT+02:00

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The foal was born to a young mare at Linda West's stud farm in Ansmark near Umeå in the north of Sweden in the early hours of Friday morning.

"It was our first birth and we were extra nervous because the mother was so young - in human terms a 14-year-old," Linda West told The Local on Tuesday.

West explained there was a risk that such a young mother would prove ill-equipped to deal with becoming a parent at such a tender age. The rookie breeder confirmed to The Local that their fears proved well-founded.

"She was in shock and pushed the young foal against the side of the stable. We called a vet and were told to put her on the bottle - the first milk is very important to a young horse as they are born without an immune defence," she said.

But as the birth had occurred in the early hours of the morning Linda West and her daughter found themselves caught without a nursing bottle in their time of need and despatched a elderly neighbour into nearby Umeå to track down the item.

"In other countries you might find a pharmacy open at night, but not in Umeå," West said.

The helpful neighbour then proceeded to comb the streets of the northern Swedish town in search of a bottle, a search which took him to the emergency ward at Umeå hospital.

"He did not want to say that it was a foal because he didn't think that they would help him and said only that a girl had been born. They did not help him anyway and he was eventually able to track down a bottle at a petrol station - by then we had found one at the farm," Linda West said.

But the story did not end there as at around 3am on Saturday morning Linda West and her workers spotted an unfamiliar car parked with its lights out in the driveway.

"At 3am on a Saturday you are not exactly overjoyed to see a strange car parked at the entrance to your property. So we approached the car cautiously armed only with the bottle to defend ourselves," she said.

But the car contained only a couple of "officious-looking stately women" who presented themselves as being from the social services.

"They told us that they had been informed that a child had been born at the property and that as it was not on any register they were investigating the matter," West said.

Story continues below…

After explaining that, yes, a birth had occurred at the farm that night, but that it was not of the human kind, all of those present saw the funny side of the misunderstanding.

"But as they were obliged to complete and file their report we took them to see the foal with her young mother and they were able to conclude that it had four legs and weighed in at around 50 kilogrammes," she said.

The foal is now reported to be faring well and her young mother has come to terms with the step into parenthood and is nursing her offspring.

"She is now registered, but not at the prenatal clinic," Linda West joked.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:42 April 13, 2010 by sissygirl
Goodness. It's kinda funny but ridiculous too. lad the little horse is well.
21:13 April 13, 2010 by Coalbanks
But was the mother of legal age to breed? Did she want to be bred? Was it rape? Did she want to give birth? Would she have preferred an abortion? Owners? Slavery!
23:24 April 13, 2010 by sunnchilde
Obviously they failed to communicate to the new mother the wisdom of responsible reproduction and the proper use of contraception. How old was the father? Was this statutory rape? Where were the parents when thier daughter was cavorting around?
00:10 April 14, 2010 by GLO
What a breath of fresh, clean air. Far too few good story's in the news. Congrats to the new family.... We have 3 Paso's,s and two baby Thorobreads. They are better than many humans.
02:34 April 14, 2010 by stopping in
Fantastic story. "They are better than many humans", GLO, read "Gulliver's Travels", it will be a treat.
08:12 April 14, 2010 by Soft Boiled
This won´t be the end of the matter wait until the foal becomes old enough to pay tax ;)
14:11 April 16, 2010 by tadchem
Does anybody else see anything disturbing in 'Social Services' sending out a team of investigators at 3 AM on a Saturday to 'investigate' a report that a child has been born? Who do they work for, Herod?
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