Live foaling cameras have been set up at several US thoroughbred studs in a new project by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Foal Patrol is streaming videos of mares during their pregnancy and through their foaling. The initiative has debuted with five mares, with three more to come. The real-time streaming is open from 7am to 5pm EST, but will be extended as the expected foaling date approaches.
Foal Patrol will provide viewers with unprecedented access to what daily life for a mare in foal is like. Studs involved include Claiborne Farm and Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, and farms in New York.
Each individual mare page will feature updates on the horse and extensive educational content, including information on breeding, nutrition, information about the stallion the mare was bred to and other facts. There will also be a comprehensive background of each mare that includes her racing history, video and image galleries. Regular blogging, video content and audio interviews will keep fans of the horses updated on daily activities. Following the foaling, there will be updates on the development of the foal.
Fans following Foal Patrol can sign up for various contests, including opportunities to name some of the foals once they are born. There will be several prize packages announced throughout the duration of Foal Patrol that will feature unique racing experience packages.
The project was the idea of National Museum of Racing president John Hendrickson, and his wife, philanthropist and thoroughbred owner Marylou Whitney. They have donated their box seats for the 2018 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks as the grand prize. The box seats six and is located at the finish line at Churchill Downs.
“I am thrilled that Foal Patrol has become a reality. New fans, racing enthusiasts and young people will have their own virtual stable at their fingertips,” Hendrickson said.
“They will get to know these magnificent athletes up close and personal and be an integral part of their lives through foaling and far beyond. One of my most-appreciated experiences is to be at Whitney Farm in Kentucky witnessing the foaling process. I truly believe, once you see a foal born, you will never be the same. I want everyone to feel ownership in this wonderful sport, with the magnificent beauty and tranquility of the farms as the backdrop. Foal Patrol will enable everyone to have unprecedented
insight into a thoroughbred’s life and allow the followers to learn while having fun.”
People can also sign up for alerts when there is notable activity involving the mares such as new blog postings or when the mare is close to the foaling date. Countdown clocks for each mare’s expected foaling date will be included throughout the site.
The five mare on Foal Patrol are:
- Sabbatical at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. (in foal to War Front with an expected foaling date of Jan. 28, 2018);
- Stopchargingmaria at Three Chimneys Farm in Versailles, Ky. (in foal to Pioneerof the Nile with an expected foaling date of Feb. 2, 2018);
- Centre Court at Shawnee Farm in Harrodsburg, Ky. (in foal to Medaglia d’Oro with an expected foaling date of Feb. 19, 2018);
- La Verdad at Edition Farm in Hyde Park, N.Y. (in foal to Tapit with an expected foaling date of March 15, 2018); and
- Memento d’Oro at Old Tavern Farm in Saratoga Springs (in foal to Bodemeister with an expected foaling date of March 31, 2018).
Three additional mares will be added to the Foal Patrol roster in March 2018:
- Via Veneto at Double Diamond Farm in Ocala, Fla. (in foal to Bodemeister with an expected foaling date of April 25, 2018);
- Bird Town at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky. (in foal to Empire Maker with an expected foaling date of April 26, 2018); and
- Arravale at Chanteclair Farm in Versailles, Ky. (in foal to American Pharoah with an expected foaling date of May 24, 2018).
“The development of Foal Patrol has been a collaborative effort within the racing industry. Everybody in the game is invested in it and wants to see it succeed and grow,” Hendrickson said.
“We’d like to thank all the owners and farms that are supporting this project and granting us such unprecedented access to these special horses. We are most grateful to everyone for their enthusiastic support of this initiative.”