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  • Written by Julie Unger
  • Category: Breeding

Equine Surrogacy 101

A Saddlebred foal with a recipient mare. Photo courtesy of Equine Medical.A Saddlebred foal with a recipient mare. Photo courtesy of Equine Medical.Mares are in foal for about 11 months, which can be an extremely long period of time to be out of commission and out of the show circuit. The solution to this, and to keep your mare competing, while also producing a foal, is through utilizing recipient mares. Reproduction takes place using embryo transfer, oocyte collection Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI); and semen freezing, shipping and storage.

It takes time, and isn’t always perfect, but the odds of having a successful, healthy foal (or more, should you choose to go that route with the veterinarians specializing in reproduction), are greater than they would be through a mare and stallion reproducing on their own without the assistance of advanced science.

Before embarking on the journey of equine reproduction, there are a few things of which to be aware.

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  • Written by Lauren Osborne
  • Category: Breeding

To Geld or Not To Geld: The Big Five

Every spring eager breeders await the arrival of foals in hopes that the next great breeding stallion will emerge. Over a thousand foals will be born, yet a very small percentage will remain intact much past their second birthday. To geld or not to geld is a question that all breeders will toss around as they evaluate their colts. Each breeder may have a different perspective on what they look for in a future breeding stallion, but most agree that a colt must be special, and they must stand out.

Ross Millin, an avid South African Saddlebred breeder who makes the trip each year to the World’s Championship Horse Show said it best when he said, “I would rather have an above-average show gelding than an average breeding stallion.” He also stressed, “A colt must have a great broodmare line and the look of a sire. Even if he has the genotype in his ancestry, he must also have the phenotype to match it.” The consensus is that the big five of type, confirmation, ability, disposition, and breeding must all be considered when making this important decision.

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  • Written by Allie Layos
  • Category: Breeding

The Name Game: How to name your horse

Photo by Avis.Photo by Avis.A name says a lot about an individual, and when it comes to Saddlebred show horses, it says even more. Not only is the chosen name expected to fit the horse’s looks and personality, it also needs to sound good when being called over loudspeakers all across the country.

Because of these expectations, coming up with the right name for a show horse can feel like a lot of pressure. But the experience of naming your horse should be exciting, not stressful. With a little knowledge and a bit of creativity, you can come up with a suitable barn name, as well as a name that looks good when someday written in lights.

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  • Written by Allie Layos
  • Category: Breeding

So You Want To Stand A Stallion

Mr. Las Vegas, one of the many stallions standing at Willowbank.Mr. Las Vegas, one of the many stallions standing at Willowbank.

 

If you’re lucky enough to have a talented colt or stallion, it’s tempting to stand him at stud. Besides the fact that there is money to be made, it is exciting to watch your horse go on to produce winners.

But handling the career of a breeding stallion is a bit like managing that of a rock star — for every glamorous public moment there are five beyond the spotlight that are far less glamorous. It offers real rewards, but the path to success requires a great deal of knowledge, patience, and planning, and there are many factors to consider before deciding to breed your stud.

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  • Written by Erica Mundt
  • Category: Breeding

Finding Mr. Right: What to consider when selecting a stallion

One of the most important parts of choosing a stallion is becoming familiar with his get. While Supreme Sultan didn't show much, he produced show ring winners like CH Sultan's Starina and CH Imperator.One of the most important parts of choosing a stallion is becoming familiar with his get. While Supreme Sultan didn't show much, he produced show ring winners like CH Sultan's Starina and CH Imperator.

 

Everyone who breeds American Saddlebreds, whether a large operation with hundreds of horses, or an owner who wants to breed their single mare, has the same aspiration: to breed a quality foal that meets or exceeds the breed’s conformation standards and will become one of the greats. But, with so much to consider, breeders are left wondering where to begin. While breeding horses is not only a science, but also a genetic gamble, there are a few factors that owners can take into account when choosing a stallion, and these factors can help roll the dice in their favor.

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