How Technology Allowed a Grandmother to be Present For a Unique Double Birth: A New Foal and A New Grandson
By: Brittany Bevis
Julie Napier of Abilene, Texas is extremely grateful for the advances in technology that allowed her to be present for a very unique double birth. Thanks to StallWatch’s wireless video surveillance, Napier was able to watch the birth of her mare’s first foal on her iPad while sitting in the hospital lobby awaiting the birth of her grandson.
“I bought my AQHA mare Cindy Rella (Simply Hot X Sweet Talking Deluxe by Dynamic Deluxe) from Stephen Stephens at Dry River Ranch several years ago,” she says. “When the time came to breed her, I went back to Stephen and chose the talented and accomplished stallion Good I Will Be as a sire.”
“As January approached and Cinder grew, I contacted Darla Duncan at StallWatch to see if her system would work for my situation. I live 12 miles from my barn. I have electricity and 4G service, but setting up Internet with live feed was complicated. Darla assured me that StallWatch would work well.”
After a short 15 minute installation, which placed two cameras in the corners of Cinder’s 12 x 24 foaling stall, Napier was able to view her mare in realtime on both her phone and iPad. “Thus began the nights of waking every few hours to check my mare from the comfort of my bed at home,” she says.
Cinder’s due date ranged from January 4th to 24th, which Napier had planned specifically so she would be able to attend the San Angelo Horse Show, Arizona Sun Circuit, and, most importantly, be back home in time for the birth of her grandson. However, as most horse-lovers know, horses rarely follow our pre-determined schedules.
On her grandson’s delivery day, Napier was sitting in the hospital waiting room with her family. To help pass time, she occasionally checked the barn cameras on her iPhone to see what Cinder was up to back at home. At 5:30, the mare began pacing and stopped eating. At 5:45, she lay down and began to foal.
“When the bag emerged, I contacted my neighbor and occasional barn helper, Rami Morrison, to provide onsite birth supervision and switched my viewing to my iPad,” she says. “Rami called my horse trainer and other neighbor, Joe Blair, who was at the show in San Angelo for some ‘on-the-job advice’ about foaling supervision. My vet, Randy Lewis, was called and arrived in about 15 minutes. It was good that the vet was there as Cinder had some confusion about the requirements of being a first time mom.”
As Napier watched the action unfold, she was so excited that she began to narrate the foal’s birth to her family and, unintentionally, to everyone else in the hospital waiting room…
“As I watched the birth on StallWatch, I apparently announced out loud the arrival of one hoof, then another, and finally a nose,” she says. “While our family was interested in the announced activities, the other families in the waiting room were a bit perplexed. One of them politely inquired about our strange baby. We assured them it was a horse and all was well.”
“Shortly thereafter, I was able to watch my new, little, caramel-colored filly stand up and take her first steps. It was a dream come true that StallWatch made possible. A short two hours later, our precious grandson was born.”
Now that her two little miracles were safely delivered into the world, the only item left on the agenda was to select a special name to commemorate the occasion.
“We decided on the barn name ‘CoCo’ since it should be an easy name for our grandkids to say and is a visual reminder of her beautiful color,” she says. “I think that her registered name will be ‘Good Times Two,’ to always remind me of this wonderful experience. Technology is so amazing, and I am so grateful that StallWatch was available to help me.”
Thanks to Julie Napier for sharing her wonderful story with our readers. If you have an interesting story to share, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and it might be featured in an upcoming article.