Stallion Semen Tests: Which to Use and What Do They Mean?

Learn what different semen evaluations can tell veterinarians about a stallion’s fertility.
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Because breeding is a business, having a veterinarian evaluate your stallion’s semen to determine his fertility (or lack thereof) is a key component of a breeding soundness examination. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Because breeding is a business, having a veterinarian evaluate your stallion’s semen to determine his fertility (or lack thereof) is a key component of a breeding soundness examination. But semen evaluations are not always black and white, and there are many types of tests your veterinarian can perform. So at the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., Dickson Varner, DVM, Dipl. ACT, professor and Pin Oak Stud Chair of Stallion Reproductive Studies at Texas A&M University, walked attendees through the tests he would use to evaluate semen.

Although most of these tests haven’t changed in recent years, Varner said they were worth reviewing, as “there are a lot of tests we currently perform that we might not be doing correctly, or the people we’re overseeing at the farms aren’t doing correctly.”

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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