Recipient mares are the key to successful embryo transfer. Recipient mares come in all shapes and sizes and are usually between the ages of 4 and 15 years - older mares can be used if proven to be good breeders. Native mares have been found to be excellent recipient mothers; they are hardier, more fertile and produce better milk. Mares whose careers have been cut short for any reason, usually mild lameness, can often be re-homed as recipient mothers. It is important that the recipient mare is of a similar height and build to the donor mare; although breadth does make up for a small amount of height! It is also important that recipient mares show no major vices; although the foal has no genetic connection with the recipient mother, the recipient mother nurtures the foal until weaning so has influence over the foal’s initial learned behavior. Recipients must have a clean reproductive history and their uterus must be healthy. Mares can be both maiden and non-maiden and although the birth weights of foals born from maiden recipient mothers can be lower, these foals have generally caught up in size by weaning.
Clients can provide recipient mares if they wish, and if they have suitable candidates. We always synchronise 3 recipients for every one embryo, and therefore ask that, if a client wants us to guarantee to be able to use their own mare, they provide us with 3 mares to synchronise. Often this is not feasible or practical for the client, and we are sent 1 or 2 mares to synchronise; in these cases we always try our absolute best to synchronise the client’s recipient mares accordingly, and are often successful in doing so, however we can not guarantee to be able to do this, and sometimes BET recipient mares have to be used instead.
The Recipient mare is an extremely important part of the embryo transfer process and we rely on having a large, good quality and varied recipient herd at Beaufort Embryo Transfer. We are often looking for suitable mares to add to our herd.
Recipient Mare Enquiries