"Scamper" Proven Fertile!
OTHER NEWS:Pregnant Mare "Due Date" Statistics Demonstrate Wide Range of Gestational Duration
It is sad to report that Theriogenologist Dr. John Steiner has died following an accident he experienced May 20th 2008 while working on a Morgan stallion. The horse apparently struck Dr. Steiner in the head causing massive trauma, and although hospitalized, a spokesman at Rhinebeck Equine Hospital in Rhinebeck, New York told the Poughkeepsie Journal that Dr. Steiner was taken off life support on Monday morning at Albany Medical Center and died around 4pm. Dr. Steiner - a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, and former president of that organization - had moved back his native New York State earlier this year, having previously been located in Lexington, Kentucky, where he began the Equine Fertility Unit at the Hagyard-Davidson-McGee (now the Hagyard Equine Medical Center). This is an unsettling reminder that even the most knowledgeable and talented can experience tragic moments of danger when working with horses as a whole, and stallions in particular. Our deepest sympathies go out to Dr. Steiner's wife, family and friends.
Cloned Stallion Proven Fertile and Capable of Siring Healthy Foals!
The EVA presentation given by Equine-Reproduction.com about Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) at the RPSI 30-day stallion test (see below) is now available on the web site in various formats. The format listing is available at http://www.equine-reproduction.com/articles/EVA/.
"Webinar" Presentation on EVA by Equine-Reproduction.com
We will be giving a presentation on EVA (equine viral arteritis) tomorrow night (Wednesday April 2nd) at the final of the RPSI 30-day stallion testing held at Silver Creek Farms, Broken Arrow OK USA. The presentation, which starts at 7:00 pm Central US time, is to be "webcast" and should be viewable via the Internet.
To access the presentation, go to http://www.silvercreeksporthorses.com/StallionTest2008.htm and follow the link at the left that reads "CLICK HERE TO VIEW FINAL TWO DAYS & EVA SEMINAR (link available on April 1st at 1:30 pm)".
Please be advised that we have had some issues attempting to open the web site using a "Firefox" browser (it intermittently locks up), although it opens in Internet Explorer with no issues.
We hope this may prove of interest and use to some of you!
Transported Semen Permits and Restrictions in the USA
Following the outbreak of Equine Viral arteritis (EVA) that significantly affected the Quarter Horse industry, some States are implementing and enforcing permit requirements with regard to shipped semen. One such State is Montana, which now requires a stallion owner to obtain a permit prior to shipment and use of semen shipped into that State. The permit application must be accompanied by a USDA-Aphis approved lab test result indicating that the stallion tested negative for antibodies to EIA (equine infectious anaemia) within the last 12 months prior to the application, and EVA within the last 6 months. If a stallion has been vaccinated against EVA, then proof of vaccination must be demonstrated. If the stallion has not been vaccinated, but has a positive titre for antibodies, then a virus isolation test of the semen must prove negative. Similar restrictions apply to the importation of stallions to Montana, although not if they are to be temporarily imported for competition. Importation and use of semen from positive and shedding stallions will not be permitted, and any veterinarian inseminating semen received without the requisite permit will be subject to sanction.
We at Equine-Reproduction.com always strongly support education of the breeding public about the issues surrounding EVA, but we do have concerns about the degree of restriction and lack of uniformity of the requirements of a permit such as that of Montana. Our concerns are:
Sad Loss to the Industry
It is with regret that we announce the death of Dr. Pedro Jou of Ayr Ontario, Canada. Dr. Jou was well known and respected for his equine reproductive work, in particular with embryo transfer. Through his web site "EquineEmbryos.com" he marketed frozen semen and embryos both from Europe and which had been frozen at his business location in Ayr. Dr. Jou will be sadly missed in the horse breeding community, in particular by his many clients.
Equine Cloning - The Next Generation
With the advent of the first equine clone, there was speculation by some as to whether the cloned animal would be reproductively sound. Researchers and scientist had no such doubts, and that has now been proven with the first pregnancies being announced in and by cloned horses.
Prof. Cesare Galli, from Italy, who was responsible for the first cloned horse, has announced that the clone Prometea (who was in fact a clone of her own dam) is pregnant and due to foal in 2008. Cryozootech have announced that "Pieraz-Cryozootech-Stallion" - an entire clone of the gelding "Pieraz" - has been bred to Dziupla, one of the best endurance mares in France from the Vialaret farm. This once again raises the question of the stance taken by some registries to not record or register cloned horses - there would have been no way genetically to differentiate the Pieraz clone's foal from a foal sired by Pieraz himself, had it not been for the fact that the original horse was a gelding!
UC-Davis Announces Test for HERDA
Researchers at the University of California (Davis) have developed a genetic test to identify carriers of the homozygous recessive gene that causes the skin disease HERDA (Hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia, also known as hyperelastosis cutis). Identification of animals that carry this gene prior to breeding will enable responsible breeders to either eliminate carrier stock from their herds or make educated breeding decisions with a view to achieving the prevention of an increase of the presence of this disorder and hopefully preventing it becoming as prevalent as HYPP did in the same breed. HERDA is found in Quarter Horses most commonly associated with certain cutting bloodlines. One unfortunate aspect of this disorder is that it may not become apparent in animals until they start to be worked under saddle, by which time they have often changed hands from the original breeder. The advent of this test will allow the breeders to determine the status of their breeding stock, thereby assisting in prevention of propagation of the problem.
Britain's Equine Fertility Unit Slated to Close
It seems likely that the Equine Fertility Unit (EFU) - a horse breeding research facility - in Newmarket England is likely to close at the end of September. It has been in operation for many years and has achieved much useful research and many "firsts" over the last 37 years, with among other things identification of the "capsule" that surrounds the early conceptus; the significance of prostaglandins in producing estrus; early pregnancy recognition ("maternal recognition"); function of the equine placenta; the equine genome; and much more.
The cause of the closure is the failure of the Thoroughbred Breeder's Association (TBA) to continue its funding of the EFU. Previously the EFU had received £300,000 (US$595,000) per year from the TBA, but there was a need to increase this figure to £450,000 (US$892,000) for the next 10 years, which it appears was unacceptable to the TBA. In the realms of hard-sought research funding, the total of £4.5 million over the course of 10 years is not great, and the loss of this premier research facility should be considered a major blow to the equine community.
It is also worthy of note that there has been recent concern about the funding of the EFU by the TBA as a result of the EFU's involvement in research into advanced reproductive technologies including artificial insemination and embryo transfer, neither of which is permitted by any Thoroughbred registry world wide. If this is a significant cause of the loss of the funding, there can be little doubt that such a decision would be in the classic mode of "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face"!
Professor W.R. "Twink" Allen, head of the Equine Fertility Unit who was due to retire at the end of this year, has observed of the potential closure that it "is a nasty blow and I think it is short-sighted and stupid".
Equine-Reproduction.com along with many other researchers and individuals involved in horse breeding are distressed at the potential closure, and would be happy to assist in passing on any communication from persons that may be prepared to invest in the funding for the survival of the Equine Fertility Unit and its important research - please contact us.
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Horse breeding topics covered in our articles section on this site include artificial insemination (A.I.); information about, and the use of frozen semen; stallion handling articles, including "phantom mare" training, and other semen collection methods; the collecting and processing of cooled transported semen; different equipment and supplies needed for semen collection and processing, and artificial insemination; managing the mare for breeding (including hormonal manipulation and the use of other drugs such as Oxytocin); and some articles relative to foals and foaling.
It's our aim to bring you not only a wide selection of articles about both basic and advanced horse breeding topics; but also a variety of links to sites containing more information about horse breeding. There is a book sale section where we list and review books on horse breeding that are offered for sale there in association with Amazon.com. We also invite you to review our horse breeding short course details, as well as stallion semen freezing and other services that Equine-Reproduction.com is pleased to be able to offer the horse-breeding public. Our bulletin board is an active community with a large membership that discusses and provides information on a wide variety of horse breeding topics.
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