We are experienced full sized horse owners, exhibitors and breeders. A couple years ago our young daughter (now 11) bought several AMHA minis with money that her great grandmother had left her. She wanted to have a small mini breeding project. She purchased 3 mares, a gelding and a stallion all together (but from separate parties). One of the mini mares was supposedly pregnant, but ended up empty last year. We bred all 3 mares in 2010, with two ultrasounded in foal. The first one was due the beginning of April. A couple nights ago, this mare went in to premature labor. She presented with a red bag delivery which I promptly cut through only to discover no part of the foal was presented. I immediately went in to get the foal while at the same time my daughter called the vet who immediately hit the road to get to our house, it would take him 30 minutes to reach us. Unfortunately, the foal was all tangled up and with her intense strong contractions, I had a hard time locating but one leg. I also felt no foal movement at all. I tried several times to get the foal arranged in between keeping her walking. My vet got here and after sedating her and trying epidurals to keep her from pushing, he could not get the foal right either. We ended up knocking her out and hoisting her to the rafter to work on her. He secured chains on front legs and finally got the head turned the right way to get a chain on the head. He said the head felt really big. Unfortunately after another 90 minutes of pulling and manipulating, he could not get the head through the pelvic ring. He and my husband pulled with success. He could only get the bridge of the nose through the pelvic ring and said his guess was that the foal was deformed (he used another word but it escapes me at the moment). Although the front legs appeared normal in structure and length and he did not feel any bone "brittleness" common with the deformity he mentioned. Since by this point a C-section was not an option and the mare was now in shock, we had to put her down. I was aware of the higher dystocia risks associated with minis but would have never imagined our very first mini to foal would be a problem, especially this severe. Plus I purposely encouraged and guided my daughter to buy larger mini mares and a smaller stallion. This mare was 32.5" and the sire of the foal 30". Needless to say, it was a traumatic event that we are all affected from, especially my little girl who has been counting down the days to her first mini baby. Please keep my daughter in prayer as the ugly images in her head are haunting her and she is now scared to death about her other mini that is pregnant. My daughter is a hands on hard working girl who tried to be brave over the whole deal. All she wanted was for her mini mama to be ok and the loss of that mare (her favorite) is devastating. An event like this is hard on anyone, but to a child its a catastrophe.