Breeding & Embryo Transfer
Jan Martin Equine Management (JMEM) is responsible for Board, Worming, Vaccinations, and Farrier Services up to the 36 day pregnancy check. If the Recipient mare is to continue her pregnancy at Pollyrich Farms Inc. or JMEM, the lease holder becomes responsible for Board, Worming, Veterinary Expenses and Farrier Services after the 36 day pregnancy check and throughout the duration of the pregnancy. The lease of the Recipient mare expires when the foal is weaned around five months of age.
The Recipient mare may leave the property at 36 days pregnant at no additional cost to the Embryo Owner. However, the Embryo Owner is responsible for all expenses of the recipient mare after her departure from Pollyrich Farms, Inc. or JMEM including veterinary and farrier expenses. The Recipient Mare should be returned to JMEM no later than December 1st to be returned into the Recipient Mare Pool. If the mare is not returned in good condition by the above date, the Lease holder will be responsible for the purchase of the Recipient Mare.
Purpose of Embryo Transfer
The Embryo Transfer Process
For those of you new to embryo transfer (ET) we would like to explain the program and procedures to you and describe how to best insure a successful pregnancy. Your donor mare is carefully monitored through her estrous cycle and bred at the optimal time to either fresh, cooled, or frozen semen. Her ovulation is confirmed on the basis of ultrasound evaluation and then at approximately seven days post-ovulation the embryo is non-invasively lavaged out of her uterus. The fluid is then carefully filtered and examined microscopically. A seven-day embryo is typically less than 0.5-mm in diameter. Once we identify the embryo, we assign it a quality grade (1=excellent through 3 = poor). The final step is when the embryo is transferred into an appropriately synchronized recipient mare’s uterus. This procedure is done non-surgically through the cervix. The embryo is then implanted into the recipient mare’s uterus and she will carry the foal to term.
As you can well imagine, many factors enter into the formula for a successful embryo transfer. The donor mare be teased with a stallion, a uterine ultrasound performed and bred during ovulation. The same factors hold true for the monitoring of the Recipient mare. This requires daily or optimally twice daily ultrasounds of the donor and recipient mare’s ovaries to determine the precise time of their respective ovulation.
Assuming the donor mare is healthy and reproductively sound, the overall odds of retrieving a high quality embryo are very good. If the mare has a rigorous show schedule or if the mare is experiencing fertility problems due to age or uterine pathology (excessive fluid, infection, scar tissue) then the success rate diminishes somewhat. Breeding and flushing these difficult mares on multiple cycles is the best way to insure at least ONE pregnancy.
The recipient mare is an exceedingly important factor in determining the success of the program. Young and healthy mares with no reproductive problems are an absolute must. To settle for less is a sure way to invite disappointment and less than optimal pregnancy rates. Therefore, we recommend that two suitable recipients are available for each donor mare from the large pool of approved mares maintained by Jan Martin Equine Management (JMEM). Lease or purchase options are available for these mares. Please contact us for further details about our Embryo Transfer Program and a Fee Schedule.
Not to be overlooked, the selection of the stallion is also critical. Use of well proven, fertile stallions—whether using fresh semen or frozen semen— is as important as donor and recipient selection. Keeping in mind that some stallions are still active on the show circuit, you need to be sure scheduling conflicts won’t arise in obtaining the semen at the proper time for the donor mare or that frozen semen is available.
For any donor mares that are bred on farms other than under our direct supervision it is imperative to maintain good communication between your veterinarian and/or breeding manager and our staff. Scheduling of the Embryo Transfer needs to be done a few days prior to the donor mare ovulating so we can plan in advance to have the necessary time, materials and staff available.
If you have any questions, special circumstances, or need further explanations regarding any part of the Embryo Transfer program, please don’t hesitate to contact us
Patty Wilding Photography
Mares of exceptional quality are able to produce more than one foal per year.
Competition mares can continue showing and still produce offspring.
Older mares, who can no longer reliably carry a pregnancy to term, can still produce a foal.
Mares with medical issues that are unable to maintain a safe pregnancy can still produce a foal.
Options for Embryo Transfer