Surrogate Mom Delivers DaCaprio Filly

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Daquiri and mother. © 2009 Ilse Schwarz
Daquiri and mother. © 2009 Ilse Schwarz

WELLINGTON, Fla., May 13–A Thoroughbred mare that was not worth the cost of colic surgery to her original owner gave birth Tuesday to a chestnut filly by the Hanoverian stallion DaCaprio. The chestnut filly with four white socks was the result of the transfer of an embryo from the Oldenburg mare Sauvignon by Sandro Hit out of a De Niro mare.

The filly, named Daquiri, was delivered by the mare now named Suertuda (Spanish for “Lucky One) at 4 a.m. at the Palm Beach Equine Clinic in Wellington.

“The most important thing is that both mom and the baby are doing well,” said Amy Swerdlin, owner of the filly and the wife of Palm Beach Equine Clinic president, Dr. Scott Swerdlin, who oversaw the delivery.

“I hoped for a filly with four white socks and that’s what we got. She’s all legs right now.”

Suertuda’s role as a surrogate mother began a year ago when she–under her registered Thoroughbred name–suffered colic and was trucked from Calder Race Course in Miami to Palm Beach Equine Clinic. The owner did not want to pay the cost of treatment.

“I told the owner that if conducted surgery and the horse lived, we would keep her,” Dr. Swerdlin said. “He agreed.”

While checking the mare, renamed Suertuda for her new lease on life, after the surgery the veterinarian noticed she was in season.

Amy Swerdlin, a dressage rider, decided to use Suertada as a surrgate mare for an embryo. She decided on the stallion DaCaprio that stands at Bridlewood Farm in Union, Kentucky,

Getting to know you! Dauiri and Mom. © 2009 Ken Braddick
Getting to know you! Daquiri and Mom. © 2009 Ken Braddick

The selection of the mare was every bit as important.

At the other end of the street from the Palm Beach clinic was the mare Sauvignon, trained and ridden by Ilse Schwarz, an Australian married to the U.S. registered owner, who also happens to be creator of this web site hence a nail-biting personal interest in the outcome.

Sauvignon was acquired as a three-year-old. She qualified for the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Young Horse Championships as a six-year-old and did not want to interrupt her training.

The whole procedure of shipping DaCaprio’s fresh cooled semen from Kentucky to South Florida and impregnating Sauvignon then transferring the embryo to Suertuda went well.

Ilse Schwarz was able to maintain Sauvignon’s training schedule and the pair competed in the U.S. championships at Lexington, Kentucky in September.

Ilse Schwarz and Sauvignon competed in USEF National Young Horse Championships. © 2008 Ken Braddick
Ilse Schwarz and Sauvignon competed in USEF National Young Horse Championships. © 2008 Ken Braddick