Due to the pace of the developments it is impossible to imagine equestrian sports without E.T. nowadays. Each breeder dreams to breed a son or daughter foal of his "idol".
Horse procreation has known several evolutions, in our region predominantly in the wake of the technical development of cattle procreation. Today sperm has become a traveler and it makes the generous donor's genetics go round to the four quarters of the globe. And the mares don't stay behind: even those which mother nature made sterile from birth, can now become a mother by procuration and have their offspring carried by surrogate mothers. If that is not progress...
Today transplanting embryos offers a very satisfactory solution to the owners of mares of great quality, who wish to take profit of their genetic potential without impeding their sports career. This technique, which has been perfectly tuned by now, consists of the insemination of the mare and rinsing out the embryos seven days after the ovulation, when they have reached the uterus. The embryo that was rinsed out is then transplanted into another mare, the so-called surrogate mare, whose cycle is synchronic to the egg-cell donor's cycle, with one day's delay.
Today we have a number of veterinary surgeons at our disposal in Belgium, who have commercialized this technique. The price is considerable indeed, but it is justified by the fact that they have to maintain quite a herd of potential surrogate mothers, in order to have a mare available with a synchronic cycle to the egg donor's cycle, at any time. Furthermore, the precious material necessary to apply this technique, requires quite substantial investments.
So the transplantation of embryos can only be justified in case of a mare with a high genetic potential. In this way, such a mare can ‘beget' several foals a year and combine a sports career with procreation.
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