Freezing Equine Embryos is Getting More Practical

Study results revealed promising pregnancy rates with embryos that weren’t frozen in a laboratory but in a barn.

No account yet? Register


Freezing Equine Embryos is Getting More Practical
Both embryos that had been frozen immediately in a field setting led to pregnancies that lasted at least 30 days in the horse mares. | Photo: iStock
Researchers have taken a step closer toward making embryo freezing more practical: Study results revealed promising pregnancy rates with embryos that weren’t frozen in a laboratory, but in a breeding barn.

“If we can get the embryos to survive freezing and thawing in a field setting, we can finally offer this technology as a practical option to breeders and even use it to preserve endangered species over the long term,” said Florence Guignot, PhD, of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, during a presentation at the 2017 French Equine Research Day, held earlier this year in Paris.

Equine embryos are far more difficult to freeze successfully than other species because of a particularly large liquid structure that becomes destructive when frozen because of its sheer size. A few years ago, researchers discovered the key to success: removing liquid and forcing the embryo to essentially collapse.

While that marked certain scientific triumph, it still wasn’t a practical solution in breeding centers, Guignot said. The liquid removal process is complex, requiring sophisticated, expensive equipment and intense technical training

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
60 votes · 60 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!