With Snowstorm Looming, First-Time Owner Moves Foal Into His House

by | 03.15.2017 | 6:14pm
Little Eddie has a snack in his owner's house

First-time owner Eddie Bayeh has had a rough introduction into the business of Thoroughbreds.

The first foal born on his Hill Farm in Erie, Penn., was stillborn. Then, his mare Coco Rainbow delivered a colt by Boys At Toscanova. All appeared well until her second day with the foal, when she began attacking him and landed one sound kick, which Bayeh said knocked the colt out cold for a few minutes. Bayeh had his veterinarian examine the foal immediately, and even though there were no signs of serious damage, he chose to haul the colt to a clinic in Ohio for observation.

By the time Bayeh decided the colt needed to go to the hospital, it was the middle of the night and he couldn't get ahold of anyone with a horse trailer who was willing to come pick up a foal and make a hospital run. He called one of the farm workers at Hill Farm who had a mini van, and they rushed the tiny foal to Ohio in the back.

“The foal was small enough that if he stands up in the back of the van, he still has room,” said said trainer Tony Stabile, who has helped Bayeh set up his racing and breeding operation. “He wound up falling asleep after five minutes.”

Veterinarians told Bayeh about 1 percent of Thoroughbred mares reject their foals as Coco Rainbow did, but it's especially unusual for a mare to wait until the second day with the foal before attacking it. Foal rejection may present as an avoidance behavior, in which the mare appears to be afraid of the foal or will not allow it to nurse, or in some cases, actually displays aggression toward the foal. Experts say mares can sometimes be trained out of the behavior, but in cases of aggression, it can be safer for the foal to remove it before serious injury occurs.

The Coco Rainbow colt spent several days in the clinic suffering from diarrhea, but by the time he was ready to come home to Hill Farm, Pennsylvania was bracing for a cold snap and winter storm. Bayeh tried to reintroduce the foal to Coco Rainbow, but she showed no interest in him. He tried to insulate a stall in the barn with tarps, but worried it would still be too cold for the weakened colt.

Bayeh didn't want the bottle baby out in the barn alone given his rough start in life, so naturally he brought it in the house. Bayeh secured a tarp over the floor and lower walls of a spare bedroom on the ground floor of his home, filled the room with straw, and walled off doorways with baby gates. His first foal has rested in the luxury of central heating while the snow stacks up outside. Final snowfall totals for Wednesday evening were projected to reach eight to ten inches. A member of the Hill Farm staff sits with him 24 hours a day, administering antibiotics and fluids, and milk replacer every two hours.

“He's got energy and everything. If you take him outside, he jumps around. Then when he's done, he knows to come back in his room,” said Bayeh.

Bayeh jumped into the racing business headfirst after meeting Stabile, who has helped Bayeh purchase horses and get Hill Farm up and running.

“We wanted to buy one racehorse, and we ended up buying a farm. It took one month,” said Bayeh with a chuckle.

Bayeh has five broodmares, and the remaining three are all due to drop their foals any day now, just to keep his life busy. He also owns a restaurant on Lake Erie and a bar in downtown Erie, and with St. Patrick's Day coming up, his week was already hectic without having a horse in the house. If it means giving a colt a good start, Bayeh said he'll do what it takes.

“We couldn't let this one go. We had to save it,” Bayeh said. “He's going to be in there as long as it takes until the weather clears up. The room is big enough he can stay in there for a couple months if he needs to.”

Stabile has already helped Bayeh apply to the Jockey Club for names: Rough Start and Rocky Start are their first two choices. Around the house though, he has taken to calling the colt “Little Eddie” because he sees the same tenacity in both the horse and his owner.

“After what he went through, he's a survivor,” said Stabile. “And Eddie himself, who's very modest, he came to this country with nothing and is a very successful businessman here in Erie. He's overcome a lot of things to get where he's at. I figured if Eddie could survive what he's done, Little Eddie could survive it, too.

“Eddie thought of all of this. I thought he was nuts, but when you've got that kind of compassion, you do it.”

Stabile and Bayeh agree Little Eddie is not a sale prospect. They're hopeful the extra attention he's receiving will make him easier to train when he's older.

“He's going to be that horse who follows you around in the barn everywhere you go,” said Bayeh. “He'll just be begging for treats.”

  • Quilla

    Beautiful. Good luck, “Little Eddie”!

  • Lynn Errickson

    Aaww bless you for not giving up and gave this baby a great chance.

  • nicehorsey

    Perfectly understandable.

  • Kathryn R Wilt

    Praise Almighty for this kind of news. Mr. Bayeh…I am going to be rooting for your stable.

  • Tammy Keyes

    What a beautiful story! Thanks for being a loving owner & trying to save this colt! It will be so worth it in the long run. Good luck Little Eddie, grow strong & run like the wind.

  • Ann M Chaloux

    Such a cool story! I wish they had a Facebook page to follow the little guy!

    • Mai Wright

      That would be awesome! I’d love to follow him. So glad he won’t be sold.

    • Theresa Brezina

      Do do I

  • caroline webster

    Please just let him watch cartoons,no depressing news for your amazing youngster. Good luck!

  • Bryan Langlois

    Yep…and the racing industry is just full of heartless, souless scoundrels who care nothing for their animals…

  • Debra

    Mr. Bayeh, all owners and trainers should be like you. Good luck. I’ll be pulling for you.

    • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

      I disagree, this owner is not prepared. Kind and considerate, but not prepared

  • Jacqui Navarre

    Love this guy 🐎❤

  • Erin Casseday

    I think we would all do the same! Hope he gets big and strong!

  • Kathryn Smith

    just don’t forget that he’s a HORSE and not an overgrown puppy! Stay in, Stay warm, Stay safe –

  • Nell Ray

    This story should play well with the out of touch disney minded people here. Im sure most of you have him growing up to win the Kentucky Derby.

    • Genellen

      What a rotten comment to make. I hope he DOES grow up to win the Derby. And I wish Mr. Bayeh all the luck and success in the world. Go Little Eddie!

    • Denise Steffanus

      Clearly Neil Ray is not a horse person. I don’t know a REAL horseman who wouldn’t have done the same thing as Mr. Bayeh. When we help a mare deliver one of these little ones, we’re in 100%, and we’ll do whatever is necessary to keep it healthy and safe.

      • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

        I disagree with your apparent opinion of the owner. To me a real horseman would have contingency plans, a real horseman has his/her own trailer. Mr Bayeh did a great thing. Very admirable. But the potential big picture is that he seems to have been ill prepared. Again, great act of compassion, but underlying issue is that owning a bar, and owning a restaurant (very tough) and then trying to start out as a breeder is very, very tough. Some might say irresponsible.

    • L.L. Kauffman

      Why so mean-spirited? What purpose does your negative comment serve?

    • NYBredfilly96

      Sadly you seem to be an out of touch horse minded person…

      • Judy Gaddis

        Actually he is just one of those “trolls” that likes to make ugly comments on blogs like this to get a rise out of us. Just ignore him!

        • Flying J

          True, some folks enjoy hurling their turds, have to be a real grouch to aim one at this happy story.

    • Kevin Callinan

      Karma can be tough Neil, ask Perry Martin.

      • Nell Ray

        Most of you are really no different from the old Soviet Union. If anyone comes on here with an opinion different from your own you try your best to shout them down you try your best to belittle. then you try your best to write them off as crazies and know nothing’s. I find it quite ironic that you all got your panties in a bunch when Coolmore says that they’re going to send THEIR HORSE to Australia and Taylor Made says that they’re going to send THEIR HORSE to South America. But this man decides to put HIS horse in the house and everything appears to be fine. Simply another case of do what we want you to do and we will agree with it. It appears that most of you are okay with free will as long as you approve. The same exact sentiments were expressed in the former Soviet Union. I wonder if
        Slav’sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye!, lit is played you all pound away on your keyboards and phones.

        • Kevin Callinan

          No shouting here. Coming off a year of some horrific incidents of neglect(Borell), this story proved that some still have compassion. I you don’t, fine… but own it, my opinion.

        • Denise Steffanus

          Neil, you’re what’s wrong with the world today. No joy, no hope, just meanness.

    • longshot

      You right, he probably won’t grow up and win the Derby. The main thing is that he grows up. No matter what he turns out to be the guy can look at him and feel good that he saved his life

    • Marilyn Shively

      you are a creep

  • Tana

    Get a milking goat. Best way to raise them with out a mare

  • whirlaway

    This is an incredible story and how wonderful a person is Eddie. If this little guy grows up to be a nice race horse it will be tough to top this story of his beginning.

  • hannahsstar

    Great story ! Such love and compassion. Best wishes

  • Shyanne Rasmussen

    Here’s hoping that we get to see more heartwarming stories about “Little Eddie”

  • Janine Hernandez

    God Bless You Little Eddie

  • Kira Maloy

    If Rocky Road id not a copyrighted name, how ’bout using that?

  • johnnyknj

    Nice story. But Eddie – if you have horses at home, you gotta get a trailer!

  • NYBredfilly96

    Human interest story is an understatement! So special, and fingers crossed the little one becomes the big one :)

  • Gotchagold

    Go little Eddie! Much love and well wishes to the gentleman who is both compassionate and inventive.

  • Tinky

    Ah, new meaning to the old expression “house horse”.

  • mommykaz

    Imagine my surprise to see this article about Mr. Bayeh from Erie where I also live! What a wonderful thing to do to give sweet Little Eddie a chance survive! Would love to see the foal and all the others when this weather finally starts to warm up! Blessings to you Mr. Bayeh.

  • ctgreyhound

    Put this story on the evening news. We need uplifting features & a big break from politics. Little Eddie is a winner already. No mother, no problem. Bayeh has this covered & is a first rate substitute.

  • June M O’Neill

    No goat. Buckeye has the best milk replacer and then move him on to the milk pellets. At about three months his gut will mature so that you can get him on standard food. Then get him a playmate the same age. He needs socialization skills and manners or you will have a spoiled pain in the you know what on your hands. Have been through this more than once and bless you for going the extra miles!!

  • Mary Darden McLeod

    Great essay, Natalie! Eddie, thank you for all your love and support for Little Eddie to ensure a healthy life. Please let us know when the Jockey Club has accepted a name so we can follow him. A foal in the house…how great is that?!?! xoxo to ALL, Mary in Boone

  • Theresa Brezina

    You are a wonderful man, and horse owner. Good luck in all you do!!

  • Louie Dula

    Loved his sire…I sure hope WONDERFUL things happen for this special baby…what a kind and thoughtful owner…

  • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

    Well hate to rain on everyone’s parade… Although I appreciate and admire Mr Bayeh’s ingenuity and dedication with this foal, there are things about this article that upsets me.
    They involve the preparedness of the owner and his readiness for his venture into thoroughbred breeding. The pedigree of this foal is quite ordinary and a search of Boys of Toscanova on equibase could not be found.
    If Mr Bayeh decides to sell his restaurant and bar, then he has my utmost respect. Until then, I worry for the longterm future of this foal and others at that farm.

    • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

      Oops, found Boys of Tosconova on Blood Horse. Grade 1 winner, stud fee is $2500, S&N, Still, average pedigree.

      • OopsyDaisy3

        Funny you looked at the colt’s pedigree and found it to be ordinary.
        Even i have heard Boys of Toscanova. But you are missing the point.
        Mr. Bayeh clearly helped the foal or by now it would be dead. How the
        heck would he know that the mare would not accept her foal. When
        something that young is obviously helpless, you do your best to
        help it and i guess you could have an additional come back at those of
        us who appreciate and admire what he did, next you will blame the
        snow storm on the foal. His farm is his concern, not yours. And frankly
        i hope you don’t ‘own’ any horses.
        Wow, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone!!! Linda in Texas

        • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

          Mr Bayeh is kind and dedicated to this foal but I am bringing up a bigger picture. If you are going to start breeding, I believe you should have contingency plans including those for rejection of a foal. I wish him the best. But for the welfare of any future foals of his, I hopes he realizes how difficult it can be, especially while owning (per the story) 2 different establishments (bar & restaurant) — apparently , he doesn’t even have his own horse trailer. Again, thankful for and admire his dedication to this foal but I wanted to bring up other aspects to the whole picture.
          BTW, I have a horse, recently claimed from an abusive trainer — paid for hair testing ($$) and will bring those results to my state commission. I retired him, trying to get him a second career (RRP) and I plan to care for him for next 20 years, and have plans if I can’t.

          • OopsyDaisy3

            Thanks for claiming a horse from an abusive trainer. Care to mention who it is!! I was wondering if the foal was the mares first. I need to go back and
            see if the article mentions it. And just about the time one thinks they have all bases covered a slider gets thru. Linda

          • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

            The trainer/owner claimed him from me June 4,2016. when I claimed him back 12/18/2016, he was raced 14 times!!! He was mostly entered in alw/starters, occ claimers much higher than I lost him. #1) should have listened to myself and protected him more, ie, alw races.#2) regret I didn’t reclaim him at 1st chance,at 20k (lost him at $7500, at advice of multiple horsemen/women). He was my 1st, might be my last– unless Parx/Penn is scrubbed w/bleach. The initials are MP — just finished a lame suspension.

          • OopsyDaisy3

            Don’t ever give in and give up when wrong rears it’s ugly head! Linda

          • Amanda Dann

            Yes, its Coco’s first. I can tell u what happened if u have face book and pm me.

          • OopsyDaisy3

            Amanda i prefer not to broadcast on Facebook. A home bound friend likes to post on it, but me, not so much. I find it invasive when i find something she wrote to me plastered on the pages of someone we do not even know. I will accept disqus_wZUB6w9ANy’s explanation.
            The foal i hope is doing well. Thank you, Linda

          • Amanda Dann

            PM me on facebook and i can tell u what happened

        • Amanda Dann

          Pm me on facebook and i can tell you what ACTUALLY happened. I used to work there, one of my family members still works there

  • Mimi Hunter

    Been there, Done that. Future training is a lot easier if you set the ground rules early. I don’t mean be harsh or ignore him – I mean don’t let him jump on you or threaten, kick, etc.

  • ThoroughbredWriter

    THIS is a REAL horseman. God bless him, and his precious baby. <3 <3

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