Thousands lose sleep over horse's birth

Story highlights

  • Thousands watched and waited for a horse, Stormy, to give birth on webcam
  • Mare Stare is a site devoted to livestreaming videos of horses giving birth
  • "It's nuts. If my feed goes down people call me at work," says horse's owner
  • Stormy gave birth to a foal early Tuesday morning
When it comes to animals, it seems people like to watch just about anything give birth.
That includes an Airville, Pennsylvania, horse named Stormy. It's been over two weeks since Stormy's owner, Jodie Otte, flipped on a streaming webcam inside the horse's stable so she and her 14-year-old daughter wouldn't miss the birth.
But soon there were thousands of eyes watching Stormy's every move over the Internet, waiting for her foal to arrive.
The cream and white mare, who gave birth to a filly early Tuesday -- days past her due date -- has drawn the attention of horse enthusiasts, parents and children around the world.
Stormy's live webcam feed is hosted on Mare Stare, a site devoted to hosting webcam videos that feature horses giving birth and show foals standing, eating and playing for the very first time. Otte says the first day the 18-year-old horse's webcam went live, it got more than 10,000 hits on Mare Stare. A friend of Otte's posted a screenshot from the webcam on CNN iReport, where it in turn got 18,000 views.
Otte, an accountant and photographer who lives in nearby Norrisville, Maryland, said she and her close friends all understand the humor and slight absurdity in Stormy's unexpected popularity. "It's nuts. If my feed goes down people call me at work," she said.
"I have no idea why people are so into Stormy, but I think it's the miracle of birth," Otte said.
Sandra Armenteros, a close friend and photography colleague of Otte's who shared the story on iReport, has been closely tracking the horse's rise to stardom. "The first international fans came from Canada and Australia, where we have colleagues. After that, it really took off. The world is literally watching this horse."
One family that eagerly awaited Stormy's delivery was the Bielawski family in Goshen, New York. Jamie Bielawski, another friend of Otte's, home-schools her four daughters, ages 7 to 11. She started showing her girls Stormy's webcam feed after Otte opened the webcam up to the public.
"I wanted the girls to experience a horse be born," she said Tuesday. "A lot of kids today go to Walmart and see a chicken come from a package and that it comes from Perdue, but I want my kids to understand the envir