Newborns Bess and Royal go for a trot with mum Royal Beatrice
Running through the fields with her newly-born foals, mare Royal Beatrice has good reason to celebrate – after managing the astonishingly rare feat of producing twins.
The 22-year-old New Forest Pony has shocked equine experts with the surprise birth of healthy twin foals because the chances of both surviving are so slim.
The chances of a mare giving birth to healthy twin foals are about 1 in 10,000, experts said today. But little filly Bess, and colt Royal, have defied the odds by becoming the first twins to be born in the New Forest, Hampshire for many years.
And at just a few weeks old, the playful pair are lapping up all the attention they are attracting from horse lovers across the country.
Bess and Royal can thank their father for their distinctive white markings and have been registered as First Cross New Forest/Appaloosa ponies.
Secretary of the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, Jane Murray, said: “It is extremely unusual for horses to give birth to twins like this.
“To get both foals surviving to full pregnancy is a very rare feet indeed and we only have a couple of examples in our stud book of it ever happening before.
“But it is even more rare when the mare is so old. At 22, I think it’s fair to say that Royal Beatrice has done extremely well to have healthy twins.
The British Horse Society’s senior executive of welfare, Lee Hackett, said the overall chances of a mare giving birth to healthy twins are 1 in 10,000.
He said: “This is incredibly rare and it is wonderful news that both these foals have been born healthy.
Photos: Solent News