Winning Name Chosen for Penn Vet's Foal Cam Colt

The colt born with the world watching on the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center Foal Cam is now named New Bolton Pioneer, Boone for short.

Penn Vet offered the public eight names to choose from during a week-long contest, and Boone was the clear winner. Of the 2,968 votes cast online, New Bolton Pioneer/Boone received 874 votes, and New Bolton Zenith/Zeno came in second with 550 votes. The other names, in order of popularity, were: New Bolton Equuleus/Stellar, New Bolton Newsworthy/Scoop, New Bolton Original/True, New Bolton Peerless/Tip-Top, New Bolton High-Tech/Scope, and New Bolton Broadcast/Signal.

Tens of thousands of people watched live via the Foal Cam as My Special Girl, a Thoroughbred mare, gave birth to Boone at 9:22 pm on March 29. Jonathan Palmer, VMD, chief of New Bolton Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Service, and his team assisted with the challenging, 22-minute birth. More than 170,000 people in 120 countries tuned in to watch the live broadcast from the Foal Cam, from February 26 to April 2.

A video of the birth is featured on Also included is a link to access a Baby Book Blog, which will chronicle Boone’s life.

“This colt is truly a pioneer for New Bolton Center and, in the spirit of Daniel Boone, he personifies everything we're striving for at Penn Vet,” said Rose Nolen-Walston, DVM, New Bolton Center assistant professor of Medicine, who will adopt Boone. “Looking at him over his first week, I have no doubt that he's going to make us very proud. Every time I see him, I think of the new hope that the innovations that allowed him to be born will offer horse owners around the globe.”

This foal represents the first successful pregnancy by Penn Vet using the advanced reproductive technique intracytoplasmic sperm injection (known as ICSI), which involves injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. This ICSI embryo was transferred to My Special Girl in early April. She was due to foal on March 14, which is the average of 340 days of gestation. But the pregnancy went a bit longer, with the world watching and waiting, until the 355th gestational day.

Boone and My Special Girl are both thriving, their veterinarians say. Although Boone fractured four ribs while coming through the narrow birth canal, the ribs are aligned and healing well. He is eating well and steadily gaining weight, at 132 pounds, up from a birth weight of 104 pounds. Boone has a heart murmur, a condition that Palmer said is very common, found in 80% of foals in the first month of life, and usually harmless.

“We will be following Boone’s heart murmur carefully during his first month to be sure it is harmless,” Palmer said. “If it doesn’t fade and disappear we will do a complete heart examination, including ultrasound imaging of his heart."

My Special Girl and Boone are scheduled to move this week to the Hofmann Center for Reproduction at New Bolton Center, where Boone will live for about six months until he is weaned. But he will remain in the New Bolton Center family, going to live on Nolen-Walston’s nearby farm. Lisa Fergusson of Cochranville, Pa., once on Canada’s Olympic Eventing team, will be his trainer when he is ready to begin his athletic career.

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