The last two months have been a whirlwind – from spur of the moment decisions, disappointments and shock surprises, getting to this point has been an up and down experience!
Last year I toyed with the idea of putting Giselle in foal. It’s an idea I’ve secretly daydreamed about for many years. This year, when every plan we had made was turned upside down as a result of COVID-19, I decided that if we were going to breed from her now was the time. So when she began to show signs of coming into season in early April I began to daydream about a future Baby G again, and the hunt for suitable stallion begun.
I wanted something with a pedigree to compliment her, good conformation, in particular a strong shoulder and longer stride than her own. Over all, I was looking for something with strength and presence.
In early April I spotted a new young stallion on Facebook. I instantly liked the look at him and contacted his owner. The decision was made – when Giselle came into season again we were hitting the road for Derryronane Stud, in Swinford, Co. Mayo. Owned by Liam Lynskey and home of Irish Draught stallions Moylough Bouncer, Ballagh Bouncer and connemara stallion Black Shadow and traditional Irish stallion Cruising for Chics (I wrote about them a few years ago, you can read the post here!).
But I didn’t choose any of them, as lovely as they are. The stallion I chose is DS Shotgun. A new young stallion by VDL Comthago (X Vdl Harley x Indoctro). Giselle is by the Holsteiner stallion Quantum, and out of a Capitol mare, and despite not being massively scopey, she has good instincts and has enough blood to be competitive against the clock. Shotgun is a big and bright bay, strong and compact, a serious trot and presence to boot. Everything I liked about a horse, and everything I wanted for this massive experiment!
So now I’ll fast forward.
If you follow us on Instagram you’ll know that sometime mid May Giselle had her first scan (click here to watch!). Unfortunately on that occasion there was no foal showing on the scanner. Needless to say I was disappointed, but the idea that Giselle would have a successful pregnancy with one attempt would be hard to believe.
Two week later I dropped her off to the stud on a Sunday, hoping being around other mares and the stallions would encourage her to come into season again. On Monday afternoon I received what I thought was an accidental text, meant for someone else, “your two are ready for home,” it read.
I ignored it. Later that day I got a call. I knew the vet had been that morning to scan her.
“Well, she’s in foal!” was all I heard from Liam, the stud owner. The shock of my life!! I think the whole village heard me, the house probably shook and the dog ran for cover. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shocked and excited in my life!
Miss G was approximately 4 weeks in foal – ahhh so exciting!
Liam advised me to wait for another two weeks to scan Giselle again, to ensure that there was a heartbeat. Despite being excited, it was best to come back down to earth until we were 100% certain all was ok with the peanut sized Baby G.
Yesterday, 6 weeks after being covered, Giselle was scanned. There was silence in the stable as the vet looked on the screen. Needless to say I was nervous – but then when he announced “yep, there’s a good strong heartbeat there!” the sense of relief and happiness was unreal.
So two out of three scans ain’t bad!
Miss G is due March 26th. I am so excited (and utterly terrified). Everything happens for a reason, and I think this foal definitely was meant to be.
I’m very excited to share Giselle’s Baby G Diaries with you all, and also DS Shotgun’s journey too when he officially starts his career. Massive thank you to Derryronane Stud for their help and advice. The standard of care at the stud is second to none. We are all looking forward to seeing what this combination produces!
Now the long wait begins!