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Nurse Mare To The Rescue

Published: April 8, 2017 2:58 pm ET

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A Standardbred foal has made headlines for being saved by a nurse mare with a unique history and story of her own.

After broodmare Darla Hanover didn't survive giving birth to her Westwardho Hanover foal, Meridian Farms' Brian Andrew had to become the foal's surrogate mom for more than a week, feeding the newborn milk from a bottle. He put out a call on Facebook for a nurse mare, answered by Jasmine Bastarache and a non-Standardbred broodmare by the name of Tantum.

A 2017 foal Westwardho Hanover - Darla Hanover foal, saved by a nurse mare

"I thought this is perfect, this is Tantum's job, this is what she's here for," Bastarache told CBC.

Tantum is a 17-year-old mare recently reunited with Bastarache after years of separation. Bastarache, who operates Venture Stables in Freetown, P.E.I., lost ownership of Tantum more than a decade ago in Nova Scotia and had been searching for her since.

"I feel like this is what was supposed to happen," she said.

Andrew took a towel soaked in the Tantum's sweat, rubbed it on the foal and then introduced the orphan to the mare. Tantum welcomed the foal, and then Andrew used the milk bottle to lead the foal to nurse. The newborn started nursing within minutes.

"It was amazing, I thought we might have to do that for hours," said Andrew. "We put them in together and they bonded."

To read the full story on CBC, click here.

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