A foal born to a mare who will serve as a nurse to another “more valuable” foal is known as a nursing mare foal. Why is the need for nurse mares? They are utilized so that the other mare, who is often from Thoroughbred racing stock, can start breeding again right away for a new foal the next year.
And what happened to the foal of the nurse mare? Her foal is typically murdered because it is an industry byproduct.
In Athens, Ohio, there is a non-profit horse rescue called The Last Chance Corral. Every year, they save 150 to 200 of these “nurse mare foals”! These foals are healthy and in perfect condition. They have the potential to become 4-H horses, trail partners, and perhaps show champions.
The movie below features 19 of the 80 foals they adopted in 2010. For the first time, these foals are in the “big paddock,” living a life that many people believed they did not deserve.