Acceptance and Impact of Assisted Reproduction Techniques in Horses

Dr. Ed Squires’ paper looks at how assisted reproduction techniques have been introduced into the equine industry and their impacts.
Thoroughbred mare and foal

Dramatic changes in equine breeding technologies have occurred over the past 25 years. Thinkstock

A paper titled, “Perspectives on the development and incorporation of assisted reproduction in the equine industry,” by Dr. Ed Squires, has been accepted for publication into the journal Reproduction, Fertility and Development

Following is the abstract for the paper.


“Dramatic changes in equine breeding technologies have occurred over the past 25 years. Although there have been numerous reviews on assisted reproduction techniques (ART) for horses, few publications include the acceptance and impact of these techniques on the horse industry. In this review, several techniques are introduced, with an emphasis on how they were introduced into the horse industry and altered equine reproductive medicine. Embryo transfer is a widely used technology, which allows multiple foals to be produced per year. Embryos can be collected, cooled or frozen, and shipped to a distant facility for transfer into recipient mares. Failure to obtain embryos from some mares stimulated the development of oocyte collection and transfer. Oocyte technologies became more practical when intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was developed in the early 2000s. There are now facilities across the world that routinely produce embryos in vitro. Cryopreservation of oocytes has lagged because of limited success, but embryo cryopreservation is commonplace. Techniques such as sex-sorted semen, superovulation, and genetic diagnosis of embryos are not widely used, and they will require more development before they are established in the horse industry in a cost-efficient manner.”

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