1. Booking and Testing
All mares must be booked in with us before they arrive at the centre. This involves the completion of a Booking Form and returning it to the office with a deposit on the admission fee £200 + VAT. Before a mare arrives at the centre, she must have negative results for CEM, EVA, EIA and Strangles Blood. These are routine reproductive tests, and samples can be taken by your vet and sent to the lab for testing. Results usually take around 3-4 days to come back from the lab (depending on the lab used). We advise that samples are taken around 14 days before the mare is intended to arrive at the centre. Please take note of specific health requirements for all horses coming to the centre.
2. Admission & Insemination
Once the mare arrives at the centre her cycle is closely monitored by routine ultrasound scanning of her ovaries and uterus so the insemination can be carried out at the optimum time. If a mare is only coming for a walk in flush, she will be monitored by your own (reproductively competent) vet, who will need to liaise closely with us about the mare’s cycle in order that we can synchronise recipients accordingly.
Around 8 days post ovulation, the mare undergoes a non-surgical uterine flushing. The donor mare is usually lightly sedated during the flushing; she stands very comfortably and happily during the process. The flushing medium passes through a very fine filter and the resulting fluid is examined under a microscope for the presence of an embryo. The donor mare is not signed off the embryo transfer program until post-flushing scans have confirmed that the uterus is in a good condition and she is coming back into season / cycling correctly. Some donors remain at the centre for further embryo transfer cycles, or the donor mare can leave the centre when she has been reproductively signed off by a vet.
Embryos are handled in a very clean and sterile way. The embryo is washed and transferred into a small straw, which is then put into a transfer gun. Using the transfer gun, the embryo is placed into the uterus of a suitably synchronized recipient mare.
The recipient mares are pregnancy checked initially at around 15 days then at regular intervals so we can monitor the progress of the pregnancy closely.
6. Leaving the centre
Once the recipient mare has been confirmed 42 days in foal, she is free to leave the centre and go home with the owner of the pregnancy she is carrying. Pregnant recipients are kept by the owner of the foal they are carrying until the foal is weaned, at which point the recipient mare returns to the centre. Alternatively, recipient mares can remain at the centre on a longer term basis and stay with us to foal down.