The majority of the foals enter this world healthy; the birth of a foal is without any problems in 95% of the times. Unfortunately, that’s not a perfect score and the parturition may sometimes be less positive for either the mare or the foal. 

Even if the pre- and aftercare of the parturition is done right, it can still happen that a foal deceases before, during or after the birth. In some cases, the mare does not survive the birth. If this happens, and your foal or mare is on its own, it is nice to be able to offer your mare as a foster mare for orphaned foals or easily find a foster dam for your orphaned foal. 

The Facebook group ‘de Veulencentrale’ (the Foal centre) is an online place where you can place an appeal for a foster mare or offer your mare as a foster dam. How does it work? Send this facebook group a message containing several details: your name, the date that the mare/foal has passed away, whether it concerns a horse or pony, the city your mare/foal is located and your phone number. This information helps to find a matching foal or mare quicker. Unable to do this yourself? Ask someone in your circle to help you. It is also possible to contact your vet. For a mare to qualify as a foster mare, the mare must have carried the foal to full term; in case of a premature abortion the body of the mare is not yet ready for nursing a foal.

Report of death

If your foal or mare has deceased, it is importance you notify us via an email. In MyKWPN you can tick the box ‘deceased foal’ or ‘deceased mare’ when registering a foal. This option appears when the date of birth of the foal is entered. This way, the data immediately processed in our administration and the foal registration is not accompanied by any costs. If your mare has passed away, we would like to receive all original paperwork (registration and passport) of the mare at our KWPN office, including the reason of death. When you would like us to return the documents for you to have as a memento, please indicate so. After processing the death, we will send it, if you wish us to, all back to your address. If the foal has passed away, there are no papers yet and this does not apply. Ask your vet to draw up a statement that he/she has seen the mare and filly and send this to the KWPN office after the foal registration. It is wise to always take a hair sample of the mare and include this so that the archives are stocked up and – where necessary – to add the DNA profile of the dam. 


Fortunately, most foals are born healthy, but every now and then a foal is born that suffers a (non-)hereditary defect. The occurrence of defects is not alarming, but a studbook is also tasked with monitoring the health of a population. For that reason, the KWPN tries each year to gather as much information as possible on foals born with defects, for the purpose of future research. If you get a foal that displays a certain defect, it is useful if this is reported to the KWPN. You can do so by taking a hair sample of the tail or manes (with hair root) and send it to the KWPN Office (to Afdeling Stambook, De Beek 109, 3852 PL Ermelo), provided with an accompanying note that includes details of the foal (name sire, dam, damsire) and the nature of the defect. KWPN shall naturally treat this information as confidential and only uses this data for research purposes.

Source: KWPN

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About the KWPN

The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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