Victoire was a Hafflinger mare, at the time about 6 years old. This was her first foal, Friston, only a few minutes old. We knew that Victoire was very close to giving birth and we had been watching from a safe distance, not to disturb her. At one point we briefly left the scene and in those few moments Victoire produced Friston. They really don't like to be watched when giving birth.
In France, according to INRA regulations, horses must be named in a particular way which will indicate the year of their birth, a little like the registration numbers on cars in the UK. So Friston was born in the year for the "F" horses. All horses are registered in France, whether pure breeds, as in Friston's case, or not. The papers for these must be carried at all times when transporting animals as transport vehicles can be stopped by the police at any time to verify the registration.
Hafflingers have been used for light draught horses on farms for various duties since the 2nd World War. They were used during the war for artillary haulage and they are animals of extraordinary courage and willing hearts. They are not big horses, but very strong and will carry adults easily. I rode Victoire myself and never heard her complain.
An early posting for +Farm Friday #farmfriday as I shall be out all day tomorrow and don't want to miss sharing with our theme. Curated by +Ellie Kennard and myself +Steven Kennard – check out the theme page and follow it to see some wonderful farming related images. And please feel free to share your own and tag the page and curators. Also for +#EquineTuesday #equinetuesday curated by +Jillian Chilson