When Nature Meets Science: Breeding With Frozen Semen

What you need to know and expect when using this breeding method.
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When Nature Meets Science: Breeding With Frozen Semen
Breeding with frozen (cryopreserved) semen is extremely accomodating for both the mare and stallion manager or owner, allowing them the flexiblity to fit both horses’ schedules. | Photo Credit: Courtesy Sandro Barbacini

What you need to know and expect when using this breeding method

Artificial insemination (AI) allows Mother Nature and science to work hand in hand, providing broodmare owners access to choice stallions worldwide. It also offers a safer breeding method than live cover for the mare and stallion, both from a physical and pathogenic standpoint.

Nowadays, all breed registries but The Jockey Club allow AI using fresh, cooled, or frozen semen. While all three techniques involve collecting semen from a stallion to inseminate a mare—immediately with fresh semen, within 48 hours with cooled, and indefinitely with frozen—only the latter offers the utmost convenience.  

Breeding with frozen (cryopreserved) semen is extremely accomodating for both the mare and stallion manager or owner, allowing them the flexiblity to fit both horses’ schedules. But, like anything, breeding with thawed frozen semen has its pros and cons. Here, two sources well-versed in the process will fill us in on realistic expectations for success and key points to keep in mind

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Freelance journalist Natalie DeFee Mendik is a multiple American Horse Publications editorial and graphics awards winner specializing in equestrian media. She holds an MA in English from Colorado State University and an International Federation of Journalists’ International press card, and is a member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. With over three decades of horse experience, Natalie’s main equine interests are dressage and vaulting. Having lived and ridden in England, Switzerland, and various parts of the United States, Natalie currently resides in Colorado with her husband and two girls.

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