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Advanced Equine Reproduction Techniques Now Include Sexed Semen With ICSI

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114 – May/June, 2023

By Heather Smith Thomas

Pregnancy rates with artificial insemination, embryo transfer, frozen semen, frozen embryos, sperm injection and other assisted reproduction techniques have improved greatly in the past decade. Now a few stallion owners are offering their clients the ability to utilize sex-sorted semen in conjunction with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to create a foal of the desired sex.

Christi Christensen, Breeding Manager at HighPoint Performance Horses in Pilot Point, Texas, says their facility is utilizing this new technique, but the procedure itself is not done at their farm. “We ship the semen to a company called Sexing Technologies and they do the sorting, separating the X and Y cells. Their sort is almost guaranteed to produce the desired sex; they have a 95-96% accuracy rate. There’s always a tiny chance you’ll get a foal of the other sex, but it’s almost always a custom made-to-order foal,” she says.

“This is only for use with ICSI. Sexed semen technology is not advanced enough yet with horses to do this with standard artificial insemination. It is exciting to have this option available via ICSI, however, if someone wants a daughter from a certain mare and sire, or a stud colt. This is your best chance of getting it accomplished,” she explains.

There is a lot of interest in this option. “After we posted this on Facebook–when we first offered Slick by Design and Winners Version–within two weeks we’d sent out 30 contracts for those two stallions. We have been utilizing ICSI for more than 10 years, but the ability to use sexed semen is an exciting advancement,” Christi says.

Click here to read the complete article
114 – May/June, 2023

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