Renske Welmoed
Second Premium Full Papered Star Mare
Tsjomme x Tjimme
Registration # 199725530

In Memoriam

The Friesian mare Renske Welmoed was born July 7 1997 in the Netherlands. She was raised there until she was 7 years old - in that time competing to M level dressage, attaining her star status, as well as producing 3 fillies. She was imported to Canada in September of 2004. February 26, 2005, she produced a beautiful, big colt sired by Jasper 366, named Quantum MF. She was rebred to Teade 392 and on April 9, 2006, produced another huge colt, named Thomas MF. This time she was rebred to Rintse 386, and was due to foal April 17, 2007. She was an excellent mom, with easy foalings, and she was a perfect balance between being a protective mother and not spoiling her foals. She was always happy to let you work with and handle her foals.

In the mean time, Renske Welmoed (nicknamed Vella by us) was used as a lesson horse by almost every new person who came to our property, as well as by the more experienced riders. She was kind and gentle with the beginners, but she pushed those who knew what they were doing and MADE them ride correctly in order to get results from her. She was sensitive and proud; she hated being told anything too strongly. It offended her. You could actually see her look at you as if saying "You don't need to shout, I understood the first time!"

It was our intention to begin trying to do embryo transfer with Vella this year. Her foals are exceptional, and we wanted to continue to produce more of them, but we also wanted to give her some time off from babies and let her get back to being a competitive dressage horse.

Unfortunately, that won't happen, nor will we ever meet the beautiful Rintse filly that she carried. After showing some signs of colic on Sunday, she spent two days at the veterinary clinic where she stayed relatively stable. However, when we determined that she needed surgery, a severe twist of the large intestine was discovered. The twist was repaired, but after the anesthetic wore off, Vella was never able to regain her feet. She passed away in the early hours of February 1, 2007. She was 9 and a half years old.

The Details

Vella began presenting some symptoms of discomfort on Sunday, January 28th. When she did not eat her dinner, we gave her a shot of banamine and walked her for a long while, until she seemed comfortable again. We monitored her through the night. In the early morning, she again seemed uncomfortable, so we took her to our veterinarian's clinic.

Our vet determind that there was an impaction, but it was soft, and we were confident that tubing once or twice with mineral oil would be sufficient to dislodge the blockage. Vella stayed at the vet clinic for the day as a precaution only, and so they could monitor her vitals in case anything changed. That night, when the blockage had not passed, she was put on IV fluids to speed up the softening of the impaction.

The following afternoon, when the impaction had still not passed, we began planning for surgery. She was an incredibly high risk candidate for surgery - Friesians don't deal well with anesthetic and surgery at the best of times, and Vella was 8.5 months pregnant, which complicated the matter even more. But it had been 60 hours since she has passed any real manure and we were afraid to wait any longer.

The morning of January 31st, she went in to surgery to try to locate the reason for the impaction. The surgeon found that she had a severe twist in her large intestines; if we had not done the surgery, Vella would have had absolutely no chance of survival. When the long, grueling surgery was over, Vella was still holding on to life. However, after numerous attempts to stand, her legs were still not strong enough to hold her. We decided to give her every chance to regain her strength; we would wait out the night in hopes she could stand on her own after some rest.

At 3am, I got the phone call I was dreading. It was the surgeon, saying Vella was now injuring herself further with every attempt to get up. She had not succeeded in making it to her feet again all night. She was struggling and trying to stand but only managing to throw herself into the walls and the ground. She was frustrated and afraid and getting weaker and weaker with every try.

He wanted to put her down immediately. He believed it was the only humane thing to do at this point. I refused on the grounds that I would not allow her to be put down until I could at very least be there with her. She had been with me for 2.5 years and had given me two amazing colts, she had packed around every rider I have ever put on her, from beginner to professional, even 3 and 4 year old kids. She had given me everything I have asked of her and more, and she deserved it that I be with her through the end.

The vet agreed to sedate her so she would not harm herself any further while I was on my way there.

I was 10 minutes from his clinc (it's a 30-40 minute drive from my house) when he called me back. Vella had convulsed once, and died. We thought that most likely the mental stress of being down so long, perhaps combined with the sedative, was too much for her body. This was a mare that hated, with a passion, lying down in any enclosed space; being unable to stand, stuck in an unfamiliar stall, was more than she could take.

I made the rest of the way to the clinic in a daze.. I sat with her for a while. She had gashes on her head from trying to get up, and her struggles had been pulling the incision on her belly open. I knew, seeing that, that I would have made the decision to put her down when I got there, had she made it that long. She would have killed herself with the thrashing. I am glad that the sedative had taken hold before she died.. I don't think I could have taken it had she died in pain and afraid. I only wish I could have gotten there faster so I could have been with her at the end.

The autopsy results came back the following afternoon. The autopsy showed that some time in her initial attempts to stand, Vella had ruptured an artery in her uterus. It is a rare but not unheard of risk in a horse struggling to stand. After the artery was ruptured, there was no chance of survival.

I have left the rest of Vella's site intact, exactly as it was before her death.

Renske Welmoed (Vella for short) is a nine year old, imported, full papered star mare. She is an old style mare with an abundance of hair, very typical of the Age line. Her mother, Welmoed, has proven herself to be an exceptionally fertile mare. Among her first four offspring, there are 3 stars and 1 model! She is only 13 years old and has been preferent for two years already! We believe that Vella will follow in her footsteps.

When we decided to add another mare to our herd, we went looking with very detailed specifications. Going along with our decision to try to breed true to the Age line, we wanted a mare from an Age line stallion, but that we could breed back to the stallions we currently have access to. Vella is that mare. Sired by Tsjomme, a deceased son of Peke, she comes from a branch of the Age line that has vanished in terms of approved stallions. This makes her bloodlines both rare and desirable, both to us and to the breed.

For 2007, Vella has been bred to Rintse 386, the only approved son of the 1995 FPS champion stallion Wicher. While Rintse is a tad heavy in Mark bloodlines for our taste, he brings a high level of sport potential to the equation. Due to the wonders of technology, we can guarantee with 85% certainty that this foal will be a filly. Vella is due to foal in April 2007. This filly is for sale in utero; for more details, please see our For Sale page or contact us via email or phone.

Vella in the snow, November 26, 2006.

Photograph taken by Elizabeth McNamara
June 26, 2005

Vella and her foal Quantum at our new farm, May 25th, 2005.

Vella in the ring, October 26th 2004.

Renske Welmoed in the Netherlands, August 2004.

Renske Welmoed's Mythic Friesians Foals
2005 - Quantum MF (sire: Jasper 366) Star Gelding
2006 - Thomas MF (sire: Teade 392)