The process of embryo transfer begins with breeding the donor mare. This is accomplished exactly as it would be if she were going to carry the foal herself. We monitor the mares cycle closely using ultrasound. When she’s ready we order semen from a stallion of the owners choice and artificially breed her.
We are constantly monitoring our large recipient herd in order to match a recipient mare to the donor mare based on time of ovulation. Having multiple recipients available for each donor make it much more likely that a precise match between donor and recipient will be found.
Seven days after the donor mare ovulates we pass a catheter through her cervix and flush her uterus with fluid. The fluid is collected through a filter which traps the embryo. This filter is then washed into small Petri dishes which are searched under a microscope to find the embryo.
Once the embryo is found it goes through multiple washings to ensure it is free of debris which might make the recipient mare reject it. Then it is loaded into a ½ cc straw and carefully placed in the uterus of the recipient mare.
Seven days after the transfer takes place the recipient mare is checked by ultrasound to determine if she is still carrying the embryo. Providing she is pregnant at this point she is then put on supplemental progesterone and rechecked when the embryo is thirty days old. If the recipient mare is confirmed pregnant at thirty days she is then transferred to the clients farm where she will remain until she weans her foal.