Draft Horse Twins
by Gail Damerow
Dr. O.J. Ginther, equine reproduction specialist at the University
of Wisconsin, tells us that in a study of 102 draft mares giving birth 403
times, 13 births resulted in twins. Of those 13 births, both twins survived in
only two cases, one twin survived in two other cases, and both twins were lost
in the remaining 9 cases.
If these numbers hold true across the board, statistically you can expect
twins to account for about 3% of all draft births, with both twins surviving in
15% of the twinning births or about 0.5% of all births.
Healthy, surviving twins born to draft mares in recent years include:
- Molly mule twins born to a 9-year-old
Belgian mare owned by Edgar Wimmer of Bland, Virginia, in April 2005.
- Filly and colt twins born to an 18-year-old mare owned by Peter and Tami
Hussey of Biddeford, Maine, in May 2000.
- Identical colts born to a registered Belgian mare belonging to Jack Fogle
of Kentucky in the spring of 1996.
- Twin fillies born to a mare owned by Jim and Sherry Stuart of New Virginia,
Iowa, in July 1995.
- Twin stud foals born to a mare owned by David & Katie Yoder of Clare,
Michigan, in June 1995. The same mare had twinned a filly and stud the previous
June, but neither survived.
- Horse mule colts born to a 4-year-old mare owned by Bob Patton of Everton,
Missouri, in May 1993.
- Twin fillies born to a 9-year-old owned by Henry and Dorothy Reyelts of
Mount Vernon, Missouri, in May 1992. The same mare aborted a second set of twins
the following November.
- Filly and colt twins born to 12-year-old mare Indian Mountain Lady
owned by Lawrence Koeppe of Bryan, Ohio, under the care of Debbie
Bechstein of Olde Tyme Travel Clydesdales in Portage, Ohio, in April
2006. This is the second set of Clyde twins born on Debbie's farm
(see below), to unrelated mares.
fillies born to a mare owned by Cairns Witherow of Portnablagh,
County Donegal, Ireland, in March 2000.
and colt twins born to a mare owned by David Cannon of Ballingluig,
Perthshire, Scotland, in May 1999.
- Stud colt and filly born to Hill Topper Judy owned by Debbie Bechstein
of Portage, Ohio, in May 1998.
- A pair of fillies born to an 11-year-old mare owned by Fred and
Phillis Denton of Enon Valley, Pennsylvania, in July 1993.
- Twin colts foaled to Percheron
mare Brooke owned by Tracy and Steve Balgey of Treynor, Iowa, in March
- Twin fillies foaled to a red
roan Percheron mare owned by Gary Steiner of Finlayson, Minnesota,
in June 2005.
bay and a black overo filly foaled in September 2003 to a Percheron
mare owned by the Bickford family of Triple B Drafters in West Branch,
- A filly and colt born to a
Percheron mare on a PMU farm in Alberta, Canada, in the spring of
- A pair of foals born to 6-year-old mare owned by Ernest Coleman
of [unknown] in February 2002.
- Twin colts born to 12-year-old mare Steegies Keepsake owned by Ray
and Jeanette Keyes of San Diego, California, in June 2006.
- Twin fillies born to 6-year-old mare Farholme Princess owned by
Jim Higgins of Oldham, Lancashire, United Kingdom, in April 2006.
- Twin colts born to a gray mare
owned by Tom Tucker of Humble, Texas, in May 2006.
- Twin fillies Thunder and Lightning
born to the mare Ruffian owned Bob and Celeste Schulte of Gilmer,
Texas, in April 2005.
- Colt Brandy and filly Frances born to the mare Lady owned by Kevin
and Emily Millar in Lancashire, England, in June of 2003.
- A filly and a colt born to a
6-year-old Shire mare owned by Terri Goodwin of Tallahassee, Florida,
in April 2001.
- Twin fillies born to a 5-year-old
Shire mare owned by Brenda and Dave Daniher near La Junta, Colorado,
in May 1998.
- Twins Bud and Weiser, born on the Isle of Wight in 1991.
Gail Damerow is the former editor of
Heritage magazine. If you know of other successfully foaled draft
horse twins, please email