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Rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at farm in Wingfield, near Eye

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 March 2017

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals  Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Meet newborn pure bred Welsh Cobs twins, Tilly and Lilly, born a week ago at a Suffolk farm - and potential guests at this year’s Suffolk Show.

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals  Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Six-year-old Welsh Cob mare, Rose, gave birth to the twin fillys at 1am on March 6 - with the odds of such a delivery just one-in-10,000.

Tilly, with the thinner stripe face marking, and Lilly, with the full blaze face marking, are keeping their ex-competitive jumping mother on her toes on the farm in Wingfield, near Eye.

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals  Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Owner Lee Smith said: “We were very lucky, we couldn’t believe it at first.

“All three are doing very well, they are getting stronger day by day.”

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals  Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Twin foals are very rare, with the odds of survival believed to be one-in-10,000.

Tilly and Lilly, the names chosen by Lee’s 17-year-old daughter Shannon, are the second and third foals by their five-year-old Welsh Cob stallion, Danaway Sniper.

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals  Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Usually, if twins are conceived, many horse owners have to choose whether to abort one or both due to the high risks carrying twin foals to full term can bring, but Rose was too far along when they found out that she was expecting twins.

Mr Smith, said: “After the scan, the vet told us we would probably lose both if we were to eliminate one. Rose was too far along so the vet advised us to let nature takes its course.

Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Lee and Anna Smith are owners of rare twin foals Tilly and Lilly born at Wingfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We might take them to the Suffolk Show this year, but it’s tiring for Rose to look after two foals so we will see.”

Head of welfare at The British Horse Society, Gemma Stanford said: “We are pleased to hear of the safe arrival of twin foals Tilly and Lilly.

“In horses, twins are incredibly rare and usually result in the death of one or both of the twins.

“Fortunately this wasn’t the case with Tilly and Lilly, but we’d always recommend that owners get their mare scanned during the early stages of pregnancy.”

Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s senior veterinary surgeon and head of welfare and behaviour, Nic de Brauwere said: “It’s fantastic to see these two twin foals looking so happy and healthy! By nature horses are not designed to carry more than one foal; the mare’s womb is only usually capable of supplying enough nutrition and oxygen to meet the needs of one.

“But these two recently born in Wingfield are both a great size and are full of life.”

The gestation period for a horse lasts between 11 to 12 months.

Contact Greenway Welsh Cod Stud at: greenwing7@me.com

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