Testing innovative techniques and brushing up on common procedures are the lifeblood of advancing any medical specialty, and the field of equine reproduction is no exception. Veterinarians are always looking for new ways to improve procedures they use every day in their clinical practices, and there’s no better time to convene than in late fall, which is the "calm before the storm" that precedes foaling and breeding season.

Seasoned equine theriogenologists (specialists in reproduction) presented the latest advancements in mare, stallion, and fetal care at the Hagyard Bluegrass Equine Reproduction Symposium in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 18-21, 2006. Hagyard Equine Medical Institute presents the symposium annually, alternating its focus between emergency/critical care and reproduction.

The 2006 program boasted 23 speakers–11 were from Hagyard’s roster of veterinarians, and 12 other scientists and veterinarians were invited from universities and clinics across the country and around the world. The symposium began with a day of wet labs that gave participants opportunities to learn and practice techniques, and the subsequent 2½ days of classroom sessions spanned topics from evaluating a prospective breeding stallion to new procedures for preventing twinning and treating mare cycling problems.

The following are highlights from the conference.

The Stallion

Reproductive evaluation When a veterinarian is considering a stallion’s suitability for breeding, the horse’s history, current physical condition, and libido are as important as his semen quali