The National Trust has revealed that it will be broadcasting the birth of a
foal live over the internet as part of its MyFarm experiment*.
Queenie, the only Shire Horse mare at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire is
preparing to give birth, and the live streaming – which can be viewed now –
is a key part of the MyFarm project, which aims to reconnect people with the
realities of farming. It is the first major birth on the farm since the
project started in May, and it was a huge decision to broadcast it.
Richard Morris, farm manager, said: “There’s no guarantee the birth will be
straight forward, particularly as Queenie had a miscarriage last year and a
previous foal had to be put down due to a deformity. We don’t want to hide
people from the risks involved – it’s fundamental to our purpose in
reconnecting people with the realities of farming to allow the possibility
of lows as well as highs. If all goes well, MyFarm Farmers will be able to
name the foal and so on, but not until it’s a few days old. I’d be lying if
I said I wasn’t nervous, but that’s reality.”
Shire Horses are increasingly scarce with only 900-1,500 breeding females
currently in the UK**, and while they are no longer a core part of the
working operations on the farm, this birth is a significant moment for the
entire breed and for Wimpole’s work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust
With no way of knowing exactly when Queenie will foal, a webcam*** has been
installed in her stable and MyFarm Farmers will be able to watch the whole
birth as it unfolds, live on the MyFarm website. Infrared lighting is being
installed to ensure that viewers will still be able to see the birth, even
In the meantime, Queenie is being carefully monitored by Wimpole horse
manager, Emma Warner.
Queenie will be looked after 24 hours a day until she gives birth and the
farm’s vet will be on stand by in case he is needed.
Viewer can keep up-to-date with how Queenie is doing and watch the foaling
live on the MyFarm website.