Embryo transfer (ET) is an excellent way to breed from your sport horse mare while allowing her to continue her competition career without interruption. Enormous progress has been made in ET over the last decade and it’s routinely performed by members of our dedicated stud team, with great success.
Donor mares are bred as per normal artificial insemination protocols and ovulation is documented. An embryo flush is performed typically between 7 and 8 days after ovulation. Fluid is then infused into the mare’s uterus until it is full and then drained back out of the uterus through a specially designed embryo filter - this allows the excess fluid to pass through the filter, but collects the embryo. The flushing procedure is repeated 3-4 times to ensure recovery of an embryo, if present. At completion, the fluid contained within the filter is examined under a specialised microscope for the presence of an embryo.
The embryo is transferred into a synchronised recipient mare using a non-surgical technique in which the embryo is deposited directly into the uterus of the recipient mare via the cervix (top image). The recipient mare should be scanned approximately 7 to 9 days later to ascertain if she is pregnant. If she is, further scans at 28 and 45 days following ovulation should then be performed to ensure that the pregnancy is healthy and developing normally.
If you are considering embryo transfer for your mare or require further information, please contact Camilla Scott or Annalisa Barrelet in Newmarket on 01638 663150, or for Hertfordshire clients, contact Sarah Moore or Steph Fitzgerald on 01462 790221.
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