EACH year hundreds of sport horse and thoroughbred foals across Ireland are reared by foster mares for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the most common would be the loss of a mare, an injury, or her inability to feed her foal through lack of milk. However, owners can also be left in a dilemma when the mare actually rejects her foal.

This is what faced Brendan Maher from Gortnahoe, near Thurles in recent weeks as his thoroughbred mare by Brian Boru flatly refused to embrace her first foal, a filly by the RID Gortfree Hero.