Sunday, 29 September 2013

Vale for Crafty

Rosewood Witchcraft (Crafty) brought a public face to this dreadful (and soon be preventable) condition of HWSS. 
Because her owner and breeder was prepared to publicly talk about her pony, Crafty became the 'poster-child' of the HWSS research project.

It was Crafty's visit as a foal at foot, to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at UC Davis, which spurred the geneticists of the Bannasch laboratory to take on the HWSS research.

To see condition in the flesh really shocked all of the vets involved in her work-up.  Photographs just do not, and cannot show the reality of this condition in the severe form.

Crafty supplied a blood sample which was used in the very first tranche of the GWAS study.

Of the 18 affected ponies which comprised the first and second stages of the GWAS study, since October 2011, seven of these ponies have had to be euthanased on humane grounds.

Sadly, now Crafty has joined her peers.

"Crafty was put down on Tuesday  morning [24 Sept 2013]. She had her fill of hay and a quart of omaleen before the vet arrived. It was quiet, without stress and pain-free. She is buried near the pasture where she played, with a new apple tree and summer lilies. 
Her final contributions have been shipped to UC Davis. Crafty was very lame and her feet were literally falling apart. We managed well for 2 years but the last six months were really going down hill. I think she just got too big and heavy for those fragile feet to carry her." (Darian Hall, owner and breeder of Crafty).

Darian made the difficult decision to have her vet take various tissue samples, as instructed by the researchers at Bannasch, before Crafty was buried.  This is what she refers to as being Crafty's 'final contributions'.

This is a recent photograph of one of Crafty's feet.

There are sadly, still many people in the Connemara Pony breeding community (especially those in a positions of power in the CPBS) who cannot, will not or choose not, to accept that HWSS even exists at all, never mind that it has a genetic cause.

Please people open up your minds.  Acceptance that there is a problem is the first step to eliminating that problem.  Doing nothing will cost more in monetary terms in the long term, than any short term loss which could result from acknowledging the problem.

Sadness is having a pony born with a condition for which there is no treatment.

Our condolences to Crafty's owner and breeder plus her extended Facebook family.