What is a Foundation Mare?

Dr. Ryan Ferris explains the different meanings of “foundation mare” for a reader who owns one but isn’t sure what the term means.

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what is a foundation mare
The most common way the term %22foundation mares%22 is used is to describe horses with ancestry tracing back to the original horses that started a breed. | Photo: iStock

Q.I keep hearing about the term “foundation mare” and I seem to have one, but I have no idea what it means. Could you please educate me? Thank you!

—Rebecca Jacoby, via e-mail

A.The term “foundation mare” has many meanings to various people

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Written by:

Ryan Ferris, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, owns Summit Equine in Newberg, Oregon, with his wife, Dr. Dora Ferris. The practice specializes in equine reproduction and sports medicine. He graduated from veterinary school at Washington State University in 2007 and then completed an internship in equine surgery, medicine and reproduction at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala in 2008. He subsequently completed a two-year equine theriogenology residency program at Colorado State University (CSU) and worked at its Equine Reproduction Laboratory from several years.

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