Foal Adventure offers entry into breeding world

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Magic Happens, a winning daughter of Awesome Patriot, is one of two mares involved in Foal Adventure. Emily O’Neil-Hopkins Photo.

By Tom Law

Iain Holmes and Sean Feld were enjoying lunch in Boston one day last summer, discussing a myriad of topics when the conversation weaved its way to investing in the breeding industry on a budget.

“Someone really needs to make an opportunity for people to experience breeding racehorses on a small scale,” Holmes said that day.

That idea was the start of what became Foal Adventure, what Holmes and Feld call “America’s original foal club” and a way for the public to experience breeding and raising a racehorse.

“What you’ll notice, it doesn’t matter if you’re Mike Repole, or the Queen, or a hotwalker, trainer or groom, if you own one-tenth of 1 percent of a horse, when you’re cheering one on that you have a connection with there’s something special about it,” Holmes said last month. “It feels different than when you’re just holding a ticket.”

Foal Adventure offers the chance, for a one-time investment of $75, to purchase a one-year membership in a foal club. The membership features regular email newsletter updates, starting monthly in the winter months with candid photos of the expectant broodmares before coming weekly with pictures showing the foal’s development.

Members will have the chance to meet the foals over the summer and hopefully develop an interest in following them on the path to being raised, sold at public auction and into their racing careers.

“We settled on $75; that’s basically the price of a meal,” Holmes said. “Come join us for a year, cheer the foal on as it runs down and hopefully wins, and you’ll get an experience that you just can’t get anywhere else. So far everyone seems thrilled with the idea and getting a lot of interest and a lot of traction.

“That’s great because broodmares in October and November are pretty boring. There’s not a whole lot to report. They’re eating hay and growing, right? When we start getting foals and making breeding plans, it’s going to get a whole lot more exciting.”

The two mares involved – the 8-year-old Posse mare Lulu’s Partner and 7-year-old Awesome Patriot mare Magic Happens – are both in foal to New York-based sire Mr. Monomoy and expected to deliver foals in March. Feld is the managing partner of Climax Stallions, which owns and stands Mr. Monomoy at Pellinor Lane in West Virginia after starting his career at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, New York.

“Last year when I had my mare, I sent newsletters to my friends and family,”  Holmes said. “It started being just mine, then suddenly your friends’ mom is on the list, your mom’s friend is on the list. The list got bigger and bigger. And what we were doing was sending cute pictures of foals. So we put some of those ideas together and came up with Foal Adventure.

“It’s a new concept and it’s a bit disruptive, but as people really learn about what you’ll get out of being part of a breeding operation I think people will really enjoy it and have a good time.”

Learn more about Foal Adventure.

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