An Inside-Look at Hands-On Experience: Live-Stream Cameras Showcase Foaling at DelVal
For Delaware Valley University equine science and management students, having hands-on experience with horses is part of their regular routine. As part of that program, students also have the unique opportunity to be an integral part of foaling, or when horses give birth. Now, thanks to a partnership with The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association (PHRA), the general public can get an inside look at this experience as well.
The PHRA, in partnership with DelVal and Whysper Wynd Farm, is providing a live-stream view of expectant mares as they prepare to give birth to their foals. With several foal cameras installed at DelVal’s breeding facilities and at Whysper Wynd Farm, viewers will have access to a live view of the birth 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 partnership with DelVal was first proposed when PHRA reached out to the University in hopes that students and faculty would be interested. “They knew of our history of strong breeding programs and after many conversations and working out the logistics, it became an official partnership,” says DelVal’s Chair of the Department of Equine Science and Management, Dr. Cory Kieschnick.
DelVal is expecting 13 foals to be born this year, five of which will be showcased on the live cams. “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 Dr. Kieschnick.
Dr. Kieschnick says that viewers will see the students in and out of the foaling stalls checking the mares, and they’ll see the students present and helping in the process when the foals are born. “Viewers will also get to see mare and foal pairs after they’ve moved on from the foaling stalls,” Dr. Kieschnick adds.
DelVal’s first foal of 2023 was born on February 7 and was named Gouda. Each year, DelVal has a tradition of creating a new naming convention for all of their foals, and the University is excited to reveal that this year’s naming convention is cheese. Other mare’s due dates extend through early April.
“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 unique opportunity for the general public.” says Dr. Kieschnick.
Additionally, PHRA is organizing virtual field trips to DelVal and Whysper Wynd Farm for elementary school teachers across the Commonwealth who are interested in educating their students on foaling.
To view the live stream foal cameras at Delaware Valley University and Whysper Wynd Farm visit pennhorseracing.com/foalcameras
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