Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Foal midwife ensures safe foaling.
A foal midwife ensures safe foaling.Ms Cannon is a horsewoman and midwife at Gooree Park in Mudgee, New South Wales, where she spends the winter months ensuring foals are born safely and healthy."The horse being the horse, it's a herd animal so predominantly they give birth at night," she said. "From the end of July to about now, I turn into the vampire creature and just work the night shift and bring the babies into the world." Ms Cannon has been the midwife at Gooree Park for 33 years, after being head hunted from Segenhoe Stud in the Hunter Valley. She estimates she has delivered more than 3,000 foals in this time, and said every horse had a story. "It's days like today [Melbourne Cup] when those stories become evident to the public," she said. Gooree Park is a historic property bought by Filipino businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jnr in 1979. "They have developed all the infrastructure here and turned it into one of the pre-eminent nurseries of thoroughbreds in Australasia," Ms Cannon said. Since that time, the stud has flourished as a breeding and training ground for thoroughbred horses, and even boasts its own racetrack. Ms Cannon said Gooree Park's famous red and black striped racing silks had been appearing on racetracks across the country for more than 40 years, on renowned stallions such as Tempest Morn, Desert War and Don Eduardo. Most recently, the third generational home-bred Prized Icon took out first place in the Victoria Derby last week. Ms Cannon said while her job could be stressful, there was nowhere else she would rather be."It's a very rewarding job. It can be heartbreaking — we do have losses occasionally — but the euphoric moments far exceed that," she said. more