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A Whole New World – How a Procedure Called ICSI Has Changed How We Breed Horses

Filed under: Current Articles,Featured |     

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258 – May/June, 2021

By Delores Kuhlwein

Today, as we watch a class full of horses compete in the show pen, it’s no longer a surprise to see full siblings, often the same age, competing against each other. Because of modern scientific advances, we’ve become totally accustomed to raising horses very differently than our ancestors, who used live cover. In fact, acronyms like “AI” or phrases like “pull an embryo” are frequently used within casual conversations since we know our horse cohorts will understand that, nowadays, we can produce horses using stallions from afar, or without a mare ever carrying her own foal.

However, another procedure called ICSI, which stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), came onto the scene and is benefitting both humans and animals by allowing doctors and veterinarians to assist the reproduction process with previously impossible methods.

Why does it matter to the breeder, the exhibitor, or the horse owner? With this technology we can fertilize a mare’s oocyte right under a microscope and place it within an incubator in a lab to produce an embryo, which is a complete game changer.

The Process

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258 – May/June, 2021

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